2019 saw French ecommerce sales of both products and services pass €100 billion to reach €103.4 billion. Based on analysis of the UK and Germany, property firm Savills projects that France is about to hit a major tipping point in logistics availability as conventional distribution centres become unable to handle the volumes of goods required by ecommerce. This year has seen further growth; according to Fevad in Q3 this was about 8%, lower than many other large economies.
Currently ranked 16th in the world by the World Bank for logistical readiness, the country saw parcel volumes rise to 1.3bn with a CAGR of 5 percent from 2013-18.
2019 saw the launch of the Paris AIR2 Logistique at France’s largest river port. The country’s logistics performance will also benefit from the opening of E-Valley, a logistics hub in northern France set to be one of Europe’s largest.
The project will see a former airbase in the country’s northernmost Hauts-de-France region into a logistics park for ecommerce. The site will have 550,000 square metres of warehousing, up to 85,000 square metres of service areas and a further 300,000 of land reserves. The site will allow customers to book scalable spaces, starting at 6,000 and rising to 150,000 square metres.
The delivery preferences of French customers differ from other countries, with a larger number of shoppers preferring to collect parcels from distribution points than in most other countries.
European countries with highest levels of next-day delivery (percentage of IR Top1000 offering)
(Source: eDelivery Top500 report 2020)
A survey found that 83% of customers used delivery to relay points and 38% collection at store. 24% liked to reserve goods online and then pay when picking them up from the store. 13% like to have deliveries made to their workplace while 9% like to collect from a locker station.
In fact, in a survey of Western European consumers, aside from Nordic countries France had the highest proportion of consumers that were willing to use pick-up points. France’s figure was ahead of the UK, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Italy.
Top performing retailers in France across operations and logistics