Overcoming Europe’s complex delivery landscape

May 28, 2020
Innovation

Pan-European lockdowns throughout the Covid-19 crisis have resulted in a surge in online shopping, accelerating new trends in buyer behavior throughout the continent. Interestingly however, there are some significant differences in shopper’s delivery preferences between neighboring nations.

Italians like to pay cash on delivery. The Swiss want all customs included for easy clearance. The Dutch prefer home delivery, whereas the French are happy to avoid delivery fees and pick up an online purchase at a local collection point. Germans prefer fast delivery more than the UK or France for example. In all cases, customers expect transparency throughout the delivery experience, from buying to unboxing, to know where their package is and when it will arrive. Whether the customer is a consumer waiting on the couch or a logistics professional waiting in a warehouse, people are coming to expect the exact same service and customer experience. They want full visibility across the delivery, excellent service, automated notifications and, if required, quick and easy communication with their carrier.

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Differing delivery preferences is just one of the complexities of Europe’s diverse delivery landscape. For road transportation in particular, the levels of complexity in terms of regulations, subcontracting and languages (24 official ones in Europe) can vary greatly from region to region. A majority of transport operations in lower complexity geographies, like the US, involve more simplistic FTL flow types, usually direct from A to B. In Europe, it’s more common to see complex LTLs with a lot of cross-dock usage and groupage.

When it comes to size, Europe is home to more medium and large carriers (50% of carriers have fleets of more than 50 trucks), whereas 95% of carrier capacity in the US is made up of smaller carriers with less than 5 trucks. Freight transportation in Europe also tends to involve more subcontracting and there is a greater concern (and requirement) for data privacy (e.g. GDPR).

Providing accurate, predictive visibility to end-customers and partners of deliveries, as well as overall supply chain operations, requires a deep understanding of this unique delivery landscape. The variety of forms of transportation used (road (FTL & LTL), rail, air, parcel, pallet, maritime or multimodal) and the number of telematics and GPS providers (more than 400, compared to less than 100 in the US for example) means a more robust and all-encompassing visibility tool is needed for tracking shipments within Europe. This is especially important for European road and maritime transportation as these are often the modes most prone to delays.

Shippeo’s visibility platform has been designed to make end-to-end supply chain tracking simple, even within a complex market like Europe. It exchanges real-time information with all relevant systems used by a shipper and their carriers. Using APIs (Application Programming Interface) as connectors, any existing shipper and carrier systems (ERP, TMS, WMS) are integrated with truck telematics systems, IoT devices or smartphone apps, creating a Multimodal Visibility Network, collecting real-time data via more than 500+ TMS, telematics and ELD systems using a unique API, from multiple modes of transportation across the supply chain.

The Shippeo platform is already connected to over 140,000 carriers in 62 countries and our onboarding team, speaking more than 20 languages, adds many more each week. The Shippeo platform provides instant access to real-time delivery tracking, automates customer processes and offers unmatched ETA accuracy thanks to a proprietary and industry-leading algorithm developed in-house. It harnesses machine learning to process over 200 data parameters, many of which are uniquely relevant to the European market.

Find out more about Shippeo’s Multimodal Visibility Network – the largest in Europe.

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