The European Commission has set out a roadmap for international parcel delivery designed to boost e-commerce in the European Union.
It outlines three main objectives that the commission aims to accomplish:
1. Improved availability, quality and affordability of delivery solutions: through exploring and developing solutions to better interconnect information systems and open interfaces to allow data exchange, facilitate tracking and tracing and labelling and provide for effective returns.
2. Increased transparency and information: (i) by calling for dedicated platforms (web portals) and web comparison tools; (ii) by encouraging voluntary codes of conduct or codes of good practice; (iii) by calling for collection of relevant market data on domestic and cross-border parcel flows.
3. Enhanced complaint handling and redress mechanisms for consumers: delivery operators, e-retailers and consumer associations should jointly ensure better co-operation with regard to complaint handling and consumer protection systems.
Internal market and services commissioner Michel Barnier said: “The e-commerce driven parcel delivery market is characterised by rapid growth and innovation, but also by signs of some market failures, particularly in the area of cross-border delivery.
“Further action is required to provide e-retailers and consumers with high-quality, accessible and affordable parcel delivery services, taking due account of the needs of SMEs and of less-advanced or accessible regions.”
The proposals build on last year’s green paper on an integrated parcel delivery market (IP/12/1289).
The Commission will facilitate the collaborative process through forums and workshops, and monitor progress. It will take stock after 18 months to assess whether additional measures are needed.