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Parcels still problematical, says Brussels

[ November 23, 2012   //   ]

The European Commission is due to publish a green paper on how best to create an integrated European parcels market, especially with the growth of online shopping, on 24 November. The report forms part of efforts by Brussels to e-Commerce in the Union.

It notes the current very fragmented state of the market in many countries, high prices and poor service in some cases. Cross-border links also leave a lot to be desired, it says, with many companies and consumers reporting problems in getting goods delivered from one EU country to another.

Consumers want better information on delivery options and improved tracking of international parcels while companies want a better range of delivery services and more flexibility at peak times like Christmas.

The report also found strong competition in the more mature markets between post offices, private express carriers and and more specialised logistics firms including those offering servicves for specific products like clothing. New players are still emerging including operators of parcel delivery/collection points or automatic kiosks, which are to some extent replacing home deliveries and adapting to the demand of e-commerce.

With the future direction of online shopping still unclear, investment choices are hard to make the report adds.

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