A network of linehauls

Fulfillment centers in Europe: Why the Network of Transportation Lines Matters

Fulfillment companies play a pivotal role in the supply chain, particularly by ensuring the most efficient delivery of products to e-commerce businesses’ customers. Logistics constitutes a crucial component of the e-shop business process, and utilizing the services of a 3PL fulfillment provider with its own transportation network confers a significant advantage over competitors.

The presence of its own transport lines allows for greater control over the delivery process, resulting in faster and more reliable delivery times as well as reduced shipping costs. Additionally, it offers more flexibility to tailor logistical solutions to the customers’ needs, thus propelling the e-shop ahead of its competition.

Swift delivery and customer satisfaction are key factors for success in the e-commerce market. Consequently, selecting a fulfillment partner holds paramount importance, particularly in terms of transportation solutions, as relying solely on couriers can significantly prolong global deliveries and increase logistics expenses.

In this article, we focus on the various benefits inherent in partnering with a fulfillment company with its own transportation network, providing practical examples and examining cost savings and environmental impacts.

Own linehauls surpass couriers

One of the primary advantages result from collaboration with a fulfillment partner lies in their own network of transportation lines. These lines span multiple countries, enabling the timely delivery of packages within 24 to 48 hours from the placement of an order.

And this applies to delivery to, for example, Western Europe, but also to Eastern European countries and the like. The geographical location of the fulfillment partner also plays a pivotal role, determining whether it resides in a particular region of Europe with direct access to major highways and, naturally, where the e-shop intends to sell its products.

Through its own transportation lines, the logistics provider gains enhanced control over the delivery process. This includes aspects such as pickup scheduling, route planning, and effective warehouse management.

Moreover, in the event of unexpected changes or transportation delays caused by unfavorable weather conditions, a fulfillment company with its own transportation capabilities can respond more swiftly. This reduces delivery times, thereby increasing customer satisfaction.

Using couriers is another potential approach to addres the delivery process. Naturally, the e-shop must first hand over processed packages to the courier company, which must then register and transfer them for export.

Subsequently, the courier transports the packages to the destination country’s branch, where local carriers must once again handle their processing, recording, and, only then, their delivery to the customers. Compared to fulfillment with its own transportation, this method of delivery is slower and, considering the volumes of packages sent by e-shops, often more costly.

Transportation solutions, one step ahead of the competition

Custom transportation in logistics can reduce reliance on the schedules of other companies, such as couriers, for example. An e-commerce store that utilizes the services of a fulfillment partner with its own transportation has a competitive advantage in the e-commerce market.

However, proprietary transportation solutions bring additional benefits. Among them are lower transportation costs, resulting from a greater number of packages combined with in-house transportation.

During a single journey, a fulfillment company ensures the delivery of packages from multiple e-commerce stores to different countries, often utilizing their transportation routes to pick up, for instance, returned shipments on the way back. This not only saves costs in terms of individual packages but also reduces the carbon footprint of the shipment.

A two-way journey of a transportation vehicle is maximally utilized. Not to mention the subsequent tracking and security of the packages, which are much better managed in the case of proprietary transportation.

Delivery of the shipment

Thus, the e-commerce store has an overview and certainty of the whereabouts of its merchandise, while the package is transported by a trusted company, alleviating concerns about damage. The fulfillment company also possesses the access and know-how for delivery to multiple countries.

In the case of the planned expansion of an e-commerce business, this shift is far more convenient, as selecting the right partner can expand and open doors to new countries and markets. Particularly when it comes to a provider with an ideal location combined with its own transportation network.

There are several advantages that come with own transportation, with the most fundamental ones being:

  1. Greater control over the delivery process – that can lead to more reliable and faster delivery times.
  2. The ability to adapt logistic solutions – they better meets the needs of individual customers.
  3. Potential cost savings – compared to using third-party transport providers, often represent a cheaper alternative.
  4. Competitive advantage – offering more options and opportunities for larger players in the e-commerce market compared to companies without their own transportation routes.
  5. The ability to optimize operations – resulting in improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
  6. Greater freedom – reducing dependence on third-party providers and their schedules.
  7. Reliability – enhanced tracking, monitoring, and security of goods during transit.
  8. Easier expansion – with greater potential to extend the e-commerce store and delivery services to new geographic areas and markets.

Delivery of Shipments in Practice at Fulfillment by FHB Group

As the largest provider of fulfillment services in Central and Eastern Europe, we primarily rely on our network of transportation lines. Our fleet comprises various types and sizes of vehicles, including smaller, medium, and larger trucks.

Every day, our transportation lines depart for different corners of Europe, enabling us to ensure fast delivery, typically within 24 to 48 hours from the order placement. We take advantage of our ideal location in the heart of Europe, situated near the capital of Slovakia, where direct highway junctions are in close proximity, further expediting the delivery process.

Within a few hours from order placement, we can deliver a package to Western European countries such as Germany or France, as well as Eastern European destinations like Romania or Bulgaria. We carefully adjust the size of vehicles according to the delivery country and the number of orders to maximize the utilization of each route.

Last-mile delivery is therofore carried out through relevant courier companies in the final destination of packages. Thanks to the combination of our own transportation and couriers for last-mile, the overall package transit time to the customer is shorter and more efficient.

On the return journey, our carriers usually collect undelivered or returned shipments and bring them to our return centers. In practice, our delivery and transportation solutions function as follows:

  1. Sorting of packages – Automated sorting combined with a packaging line allows packages to be divided by destination country and couriers for the last mile delivery.
  2. Loading of vehicles – Sorted packages are loaded into specific vehicles that depart for various European countries every day.
  3. Transport – Transport lines deliver the shipments to courier company depots for the last-mile delivery, typically within 24 hours from the order placement to customers. We also offer European cash-on-delivery solutions.
  4. Last-mile delivery – Courier companies promptly deliver the packages to individual customers. Thanks to high volumes with the largest courier companies, we have favorable prices, not only to Europe, but also to the whole world.
  5. Collection of returns – Our carriers collect undelivered or returned shipments.
  6. Receipt at return centers – Subsequently, these shipments are brought to return centers or our main warehouse, where we inspect, record, and address them in collaboration with the client.
  7. Processing of cash-on-delivery – We process cash-on-delivery payments, convert them into the required currency at the most advantageous exchange rate, and transfer them directly to the client’s account on a 1:1 basis.
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