Track and Trace
As a global e-commerce platform, eBay connects buyers and sellers around the world. Our community of users – individual consumers, sellers and SMEs – is broadly reliant upon shipping services to ensure smooth transactions and a great shopping experience. eBay estimates that sellers on its European platforms spent more than €1 billion in 2009 on shipping goods. Connecting our users is also about providing meaningful tools that add value to their selling experience. First of all, sellers need convenience: the integration of the shipping aspect in the earliest stage of the selling process is key. eBay will soon be rolling out exclusive features that will both improve users’ choice and foster competition between shipping carriers. However, we want to go further than that. For users willing to sell cross-border, exporting is much more complex than domestic e-commerce. Why? Because of factors like time zones, language barriers, greater distances and cultural differences, all of which are generally not an issue in domestic trading. All these factors lead to uncertainty that inhibits the development of intra- EU cross-border e-commerce. Tackling this uncertainty is vital for realizing a true Single Market. That is why online sellers and buyers also need certainty through efficient cross-border tracking technologies and services.
Better still, eBay believes we can go even further by enabling international commerce. We want to bring to Europe the great experience that we are having in cooperating with carriers in other regions of the world. As an example, Asian eBay sellers will be shipping more than 140 million parcels from Asia this year to the US, UK and Australia. We expect this to exceed 200 million next year. Considering the huge opportunities that international shipping presents, eBay, the US Postal Service, and China Post Express & Logistics Corporation have established a far-reaching shipping alliance that is leading to more stable and affordable China-to-US online trade. A similar alliance has been established with Hong-Kong Post and the US Postal Service for Hong Kong exporters. Among other advantages, the agreements let US buyers track packages from eBay sellers in Greater China. By bringing this much needed convenience and certainty thanks to tracing and tracking technologies to Europe, eBay believes the EU will be equipped to tackle one of the main barriers to cross-border e-commerce and therefore benefit from a stronger Internal Market and increased international trade.
As outlined in the AEL position on the White Paper on Transport, we call upon EU decision makers to make the adoption of standardised parcel track and trace technologies in Europe a key priority.
- Tracking and tracing systems (new transparency given to the supply chain by supplying real-time data) will open new opportunities in planning, forecasting, security and customs processes.
- Incentivising the development of business solutions that support cross-border tracking of parcels, given the high investment necessary to implement a new technology platform throughout the entire supply chain.
This will boost both T&L operational efficiency and consumer confidence in cross border e-commerce in Europe.