Last mile delivery and eFulfilment are closely linked in today’s eCommerce market.

A new report from Ti Insight, eCommerce: eFulfilment and Last-Mile Market Size 2022,  addresses the key trends, challenges and developments facing the eCommerce market, today and in the future, whilst providing comprehensive market growth data and forecasts.

While the market for last mile delivery is slightly bigger than the market for eFulfilment across the three major eCommerce markets (Europe, North America & Asia Pacific), both disciplines have seen vast increases in recent years.

Both consumer behaviour and global infrastructure has been affected by the pandemic. These vast changes have enabled both last mile and eFulfilment providers in the eCommerce space to extend their service offerings and capture more of the value chain.

The split between last mile and eFulfilment in the three major markets is virtually identical:

  • Europe sees the split for eFulfilment of 47.3%, while last mile delivery consists of 52.7% of the market
  • In North America, the split sees eFulfilment percentgaes of 47.9%, with last mile delivery of 52.1%
  • And finally, in Asia Pacific eFulfilment is 47.5% and last mile delivery of 52.5%.

What is last mile delivery?

The last-mile or final-mile in delivery logistics is the final part of the journey of goods to the end customer. This is typically from a logistics hub or warehouse to the customer’s home or place of work. This may be carried out by a specialist last-mile delivery provider or logistics company.

Worldwide Trends in last-mile delivery

Last-mile providers across all the major regions saw an increase in parcel volumes in the first part of 2021. However, the reasons for this were not the same across all regions. In Asia Pacific, volume increases in the first half of 2021 were due to a price war amongst express providers to gain market shares.

In North America, volume decreases in the second half of 2021 were due to price increases prices put in place to counteract increasing supply chain and operating costs.

Finally, across Europe, high volumes at the start of 2021 were due to strengthened regional networks, which allowed providers to offer better delivery features to customers, such as pick-up points and collection options.

Last-mile delivery trends in Europe & the UK

The last-mile delivery market in Europe is currently valued at €46,503m, with the UK making up 29.1% – the largest share of the market. The European last-mile eCommerce market is expected to grow to €86,912m by 2026.

The impact of COVID-19, increased eCommerce parcel volumes, and changing consumer demands have seen a push towards investment in services and facilities for last-mile providers across the region. Consumers are now seeking out delivery options that are cost-effective, quick, and convenient. This includes investment in new services such as Pick Up Drop Off (PUDO) points, parcel lockers, and real-time delivery changes.

What is eFulfilment?

eFulfilment is the 3PL (third-party logistics) provider that prepares and ships orders on behalf of the eCommerce company. Typically, the end customer orders online through the eCommerce business, and then that order is communicated directly to the 3PL for fulfilment.

Worldwide Trends in eFulfilment

eFulfilment providers in all the main three eCommerce markets have made investments in recent years to capitalise on the growth opportunity afforded by the pandemic – both domestically and abroad.

Future eFulfulment growth is forecasted to be moved forward by new players in the logistics technology space.

eFulfilment providers, particularly in North America, are also expected to capitalise on local opportunities where eCommerce levels are continuing to grow.

eFulfilment Trends in Europe & the UK

The eCommerce fulfilment market is currently valued at €41,733m, with the UK as the largest market within that, representing 29.4% of the overall European region. The European market is expected to grow to €77,261m by 2026.

Europe is currently seeing increased investment from eFulfilment companies expanding their services and capitalising on the recent exponential growth in the eCommerce sector. Major technology platforms, including Amazon, ShipBob, ShipMonk and Byrd have extended their e-commerce logistics offerings across Europe.