Cross-border solutions: why wait for what’s already available?

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The European Commission (EC), the European Union’s (EU) executive body responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, recently invited input to a public consultation on cross-border parcel delivery. Contributions were sought from citizens and businesses that were “interested in cross-border parcel delivery in Europe” as part of an “initiative to enhance the affordability, quality and convenience of cross-border parcel delivery”.

Whilst any focus on delivery efficiency at a policy making level is to be welcomed, the scope and timing of this consultation suggests a delivery arena that is preventing businesses from growing an international customer base. This is far from the truth. The fact is forward-thinking businesses are already fully conversant with best-practice, cost-efficient cross-border delivery solutions.

Yes, cross-border delivery can be a complex process, and retailers rarely have the resources in terms of people-time or in-house expertise to keep on top of this ever changing landscape. Which is precisely why solutions have been developed to address this need and enable seamless and fluent international delivery.

It would seem that the EC has got wind of the challenge without taking the time to see if answers already exist. Affordability, quality and convenience are all addressed in existing solutions. Customers appreciate simple transparent pricing, along with affordable access to track-and-trace services and delivery confirmation procedures. The best solutions proactively communicate with buyers (as opposed to waiting for a problem) – telling them how to track parcel movement and identifying the final-mile carrier to them. Easily navigated dedicated tracking portals and control of delivery options such as designated pick-up sites provide choice and convenience. Technology is already capable of integrating multiple delivery partners into a single solution that can be accessed by retailers via a single link, allowing final mile carriers to be changed or added without impacting front-end services.

Put simply, incredible strides have already been made to make cross-border delivery as efficient and effective as possible for today’s retailers. If the EU consultation does result in further initiatives to smooth processes for retailers and consumers, then all well and good. But who knows how long such initiatives might take to come to fruition. Solutions are available now to drive efficiency and convenience at every stage of the cross-border delivery process. Any business waiting for the results of the commission’s consultation will have already missed the boat.

Tervit has worked in the parcel logistics arena for over 24 years, the past 14 of which have been spent in the world of home delivery. His experience has been gained from working in the UK and overseas, and includes eight years spent working in the postal sector with Parcelforce/Royal Mail and 16 in the commercial arena. This has given Tervit a valuable insight into the world of cross border logistics, and allowed him to adopt the best practices he has encountered

September 24, 2015

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