EU should support e-commerce innovation and strategic transport investments
Unlocking e-commerce potential is central to the development of the new EU Digital Single Market and Digital Economy stated the Alliance for European Logistics (AEL) during today’s 7th European Logistics Summit.
AEL believes the time has come to update the existing regulatory framework to fully exploit the potential of e-commerce and to stimulate investments and innovation across Europe (See e-Commerce and Logistics Position Paper).
In 2015, worldwide e-commerce revenue is expected to exceed 1 trillion USD and e-commerce sales are projected to exceed 1 trillion USD in China alone by 2018 (source: eMarketer global retail market forecast). If all Member States applied the same rules for e-commerce, more than half of companies would start or increase their online sales to other EU countries, with small and medium sized businesses as the main beneficiaries (source: 2 Digital Single Market factsheet). EU consumers could save €11.7 billion each year if they could choose from a full range of EU goods and services when shopping online and the full realisation of the digital single market could generate € 340 billion in additional growth.
Speaking at the Summit, the President of AEL, Mathieu Grosch, said “it is time to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and encourage e-commerce innovation in Europe through digitalisation”. He added, “as a sector, we need to continuously adapt to an increasingly interconnected economy. Regulators have an opportunity to bolster the European private sector’s contribution to the global flow of goods”.
Enabling e-commerce is just one of the opportunities. Transport infrastructure investments were also discussed as AEL urged European policy-makers to consider infrastructure projects in the President Juncker’s flagship 315 billion euro Investment Plan. The completion of the Internal Market for freight transport services should continue to be a priority for the EU if it is to ensure fair competition and the most efficient use of its transport infrastructure.
“Globality in transport modes and smart infrastructure investments should be prioritised over allocating funds per country, while obstacles in transport infrastructure and cabotage should be removed in a fair internal market” concluded M. Grosch.
Deutsche Post DHL, duisport, Hapag-Lloyd, Hutchison Whampoa, Kuehne + Nagel, Michelin, Zebra Technologies and SAP.
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