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Editorial: Can the UK expect ease of cross-border e-delivery in Europe?


This week I’m in Luxembourg rubbing shoulders with the great and good of global e-commerce at the Deliver One conference – ‘the first European rendezvous for e-logistics’. I’ve been reassured by the event’s founder and chief organiser Stéphane Tomczak, that in no way should the UK feel excluded from proceedings. Despite this being a high profile EU co-funded event Tomczak says the central theme of ‘cross border e-delivery’ has as much room for UK online retailers, IT specialists and courier companies as it ever did.
Reassuringly his view is that the UK’s decision to leave the EU should not deter British delegates from joining this kind of debate, and getting on with networking, learning and planning a future in Europe. In the same spirit, it’s welcome news that a European Commission-led project is being launched this week to facilitate slicker cross border delivery and help companies of all sizes and European locations get in on the action. Brits are very welcome to make use of this alongside everyone else. Read about it here, and there will be follow up coverage on the view from Europe next week.

Feelunique customer experienceTalking of warm welcomes, learning and networking, our own eDelivery Conference is fast approaching. For a taste of what’s to come, here’s an interview with one of the speakers, Craig Wheeler of You’d be hard-pushed to find a more enthusiastic e-commerce expert than Craig, who’s brimming with ideas about how to better align your business with customer expectations. He advocates investing in customer feedback, and nurturing smarter relationships with logistics partners in the supply chain.

For the likes of Feelunique, e-commerce packaging has become a boardroom issue. Boxes and void fill materials must of course be practical and cost effective, but they’re also now required to do a valuable brand-building, customer-delighting job too. Consumers want boxes that aren’t stupidly big and awkward, and that will provide a positive unboxing experience. We’ve launched a survey in partnership with Smurfit Kappa, to explore the latest retailer views and aspirations in regard to e-commerce packaging. We aim to discover just how much thought and effort is currently going into boxes and wrapping today, and whether UK retailers could be classed as savvy or scrappy when it comes to e-delivery packaging. The results will be published in a White Paper, available at the eDelivery Conference 2016 on October 11th. Please take part in the survey here.

Other significant developments this week include John Lewis splashing out on state of the art distribution facilities that will help consolidate and therefore massively speed up deliveries. Parcelly has teamed up with the Costcutter group of convenience stores, wisely extending its reach into lots more communities. In a guest opinion piece we hear from Alexey Tabolkin is CEO of EiraTech Robotics, how Amazon’s success with robots in warehouses could be replicated with careful investment of this cost-saving technology. Fancy a 20% saving in warehouse operating costs in two years anyone?

If you’d like to receive our weekly newsletter by email and receive the print magazine eDelivery sign up here, and for all the latest news and views follow us on Twitter @eDeliverynet and @eDeliveryAlison. We’d love your input on our LinkedIn Group too.
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