Ecommerce Europe publishes updated Manifesto on how to innovate the parcel delivery market 


Ecommerce Europe published its revised Manifesto for a better parcel delivery market in Europe. The e-Logistics High-Level Round Table, organized by Ecommerce Europe on 3 May, offered fruitful and productive feedback from participants that fed into the updated document. The Manifesto takes now into account both the recent adoption of the Standardized Label for parcels and the legislative developments on the Proposal for a Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services.

 A major milestone on parcel delivery services 

Ecommerce Europe’s strategy on parcel delivery is to actively engage in shaping necessary market fundamentals through side regulation. Recently, the European e-commerce association achieved a major milestone in innovating cross-border parcel delivery services. By chairing the work within the European Standardization Committee (CEN), Ecommerce Europe managed to harmonize postal and supply chain management standards to enable one item label for the delivery of merchandise to end customers. Merchants and consumers need a Pan-European delivery system with open standards for labeling and data interfaces to carrier data, in order to create more innovation and greater transparency in the logistics chain. The positive final vote in CEN is a major step forward to really innovate cross-border parcel delivery services in Europe. One of the main causes of difficulties in parcel delivery was closed standards leading to proprietary networks, resulting in unfavorable market conditions for online merchants. By facilitating the work under a mandate of the European Commission, to specify harmonized Interfaces for cross-border parcels in Europe, Ecommerce Europe achieved a consensus involving all players in parcel delivery. It is the first time that closed networks and open specifications can be supported on one parcel label.

 The Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services 

High European delivery performance is a key driver for success for web merchants and their business models. Additionally, more options are needed, including different offers, alternative affordable delivery options, more flexibility, more information and greater transparency from delivery service providers. In this light, Ecommerce Europe welcomed the publication of the European Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services. Ecommerce Europe believes that the original proposal had the potential to help create a level playing field for competing parcel delivery operators and thereby – ultimately – for online merchants throughout Europe. Nevertheless, given the more recent legislative developments, Ecommerce Europe has specific concerns regarding the draft Regulation, namely on the potential extension of the scope to other parties (e-merchants).

 Some modifications proposed in the Council’s texts of the past months proposed a new recital (8a). This recital is also included in a Council document dated 31 May 2017 (9674/17). The TTE Council is invited to adopt, at its meeting on 9 June 2017, a general approach on the proposal. The proposed Recital 8a will enlarged the regulatory oversight to all those e-commerce retailers which are “drawing on the collaborative economy and e-commerce platforms”. In the case of Germany and other European Member States, this would potentially require e-commerce companies to register or even apply for a postal license. In Ecommerce Europe’s opinion, this is going far beyond what the Commission really wanted to achieve and will result in another additional hurdle and administrative burden on the e-commerce industry, which is something that Ecommerce Europe strongly recommends to avoid.

 For more information on the harmonized label for parcels and Ecommerce Europe’s position on the parcel delivery regulation, please read our updated Manifesto for a better parcel delivery market in Europe.