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Background to the report
Belgium, the host to many European distribution centres as well as the European base for integrators such as FedEx and UPS, has a highly developed parcels market which has continued to grow in spite of the uncertain recovery from recession. A key factor has been the growth of home shopping.
This has acted as a spur to innovation in promoting the development of processes to improve the delivery experience, from defined time-slots, to text messages to the establishment of chains of parcel shops.
Home shopping growth looks set to continue, creating further opportunities for those companies which are able to deliver the quality and range of services that the market requires.
In this environment, industry consolidation has continued with FedEx making a major play to combine with TNT Express and other major networks continuing to make add-on acquisitions to fill geographical and service gaps. Market is still dominated by the Belgian post office, bPost, but each of the leading international players has a growing presence and market is more fragmented than in other European countries.
Parcels in Belgium provides an analytical overview of the Belgian Parcels market. It attempts to portray accurately the market structure, size, growth, trends and competitive landscape.
The report builds upon:
- Apex Insight's published analysis on other parcels markets across Europe and in adjacent logistics markets
- Our consulting work in the industry which has included advising on market and strategic issues and the attractiveness of parcel company acquisitions
What does the report cover?
The definition of the parcels market includes domestic, intra-European and international parcels. It also includes business-to-business, business-to-consumer and consumer consigned parcels. Parcel weight definitions vary, between operators and countries, but most describe parcels up to various weights approaching 31.5 kg. All service levels are included (time definite and deferred). Adjacent services, such as mail, pallet distribution, groupage, freight forwarding, sameday courier and contract logistics are excluded.
Key trends in the Belgian parcels market include:
- Slow growth in consumer delivery volumes from online shopping
- More mixed performance in business-to-business volumes during the recent period of slow economic growth
- Customer service innovations, in particular those which improve the final mile home delivery process by informing the customer about delivery progress and alternative options.
- Networks of local collection points and secure lockers, also aimed at improving the final mile.
- Variations in operator financial performance and profitability with some operators making healthy margins while others have struggled
- Gradual but ongoing increase in market concentration
What is the methodology?
The main sources for the report are
- Extensive desk research on the parcels market and its operators covering company accounts, websites and other sources
- Published information on key market drivers such as economic data and estimates of home shopping levels and practices
- Interviews with senior-level contacts in the market
The key input to our market size estimates is a bottom-up analysis of the revenues of the parcel companies we have identified as operating in each of the main countries covered. Adjustments have been made to compensate for missing data and to reflect the extent to which these companies are involved in other logistics activities in addition to parcels.
We have used this data as the basis on which to construct our market model.
- The model produces historical and forecast growth estimates covering the period from 2009-2019 which are based on trends in company revenue and drivers such as economic performance and levels and patterns of home shopping.
- The main model inputs and assumptions are discussed in detail in the report.
Who is it useful for?
The report is intended for:
- Owners and operators of parcel networks
- Customers of those networks, in particular, retailers who sell via the internet
- Investors in these businesses
- Market regulators and policymakers
- Banks, analysts, consultants and other parties with interests in the sector