E-Commerce Logistics in Review: Europe 2020

Jan 27, 2021

(Click here to view the HD version of the infographic) 

In 2020, we observed the effect of the e-commerce boom on the logistics and supply chain industry. As the pandemic drove consumers online, retailers and logistics carriers alike were ‘forced’ to adapt and innovate to meet delivery expectations. 

With that in mind, how do you think Europe’s logistics performed in 2020?

In our first study in 2021, our team delved into the e-commerce logistics performance of Europe in 2020. We broke them down into 2 different sections; focusing on shipment movement within Europe and parcels going into Europe:

  1. Growth of inbound international shipment volumes 

  2. Contributing factors to Europe’s growth in 2020 

Note: The data used for this study has been adjusted for seasonality. 

Inbound international shipment volume in Europe grew more in the second half of 2020

Compared to the first half of 2020, inbound international shipment volume within Europe during the second half of 2020 increased by 49%; whereas inbound international shipments entering Europe during the second half of 2020 increased by 23%.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, e-commerce in Europe seemed to be increasingly active in the second half of 2020. According to the E-Commerce Region Report 2020, Western European countries contributed 70% of overall e-commerce transactions.  

It is no big surprise that e-commerce volume during the second half of 2020  increased significantly. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales contributed an 86% surge in parcel volume when compared to the same period in 2019. 

When compared to October’s retail sales, Europe saw a 165% increase in sales during Black Friday alone. The holiday season shopping contributed heavily to the immense surge of inbound international shipment volumes in Europe.

Inbound international parcel deliveries within Europe made up 97% of 2020’s growth

Europe 2020 Highlights E-Commerce Contribution

(Click here to view the HD version of the infographic) 

Based on the volume of inbound international parcel deliveries to Europe, e-commerce in Europe experienced a growth of 66% in 2020 (as compared to 2019). Inbound international parcel deliveries within Europe made up 96.7% of this growth. In contrast, inbound international parcels entering Europe contributed just 3.3%. 

Europeans shop mostly within the European region. 88% of online purchases made by Europeans were mainly from national sellers. In a ranking of top e-commerce retailers in Europe, the E-commerce retail index found most of the retailers originated from Germany, France, and the UK. 

“In early 2020 the transport industry was all about keeping up with shifting factors and regulations, it was all about finding the most efficient ways around them. It was a big test for adaptability and flexibility. A lot of our clients turned more into e-commerce later in 2020.” – Artem Shurmelev, Supply Chain Advisor in Denmark.

E-commerce has so much potential and 2021 is definitely another year to look forward to. 2020 has proved to us it is possible to speed up digital growth within a couple of months. 

“We always talk about the next big thing every year, and I think every year we fail to predict correctly. For me, the future of eCommerce is losing the ‘E’ in eCommerce and just bringing retailers and brands into a unified commerce experience, where technology is at the center of the business—because it is and should be.” – Ronan Bardet, E-Commerce Thought Leader, Founder, and CEO of EGI Group (Source: Syte)

What do you think 2021 will look like for the e-commerce industry? 

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