The European e-commerce market is growing quickly, creating significant changes, challenges and opportunities for the region’s material handling industry. As in the U.S., COVID-19 caused a spike in online shoppers and sales volume — accelerating growth trends, which are expected to continue.
These surges have put Europe’s distribution centers (DCs) under pressure to move significantly higher quantities of smaller, irregular items that are difficult to convey, identify and sort. As a result, many more transactions and stock keeping units (SKUs) need to be processed to achieve sales volumes comparable to the past. DCs also face the challenge of managing an increasing number of shipping destinations.
This article provides a brief overview of the e-commerce market in the U.K. and EU, challenges faced by fulfillment operations in the region, and solutions that will enable them to seize historic opportunities over the next few years.