Global e-commerce Logistics 2021

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Covid-19 has accelerated existing e-commerce logistics trends and growth prospects. After a phenomenal year of growth the market must sustain high service levels while managing persistently higher volumes and investing to adapt to the new retail landscape.

Global e-commerce Logistics 2021 provides in depth analysis of the current trends and challenges retailers, LSPs and last mile providers face. The report assesses how the market has transformed as a result of Covid-19, how this has affected fulfilment and last mile services and costs and how the provision of logistics services is changing as a result of the need to rapidly scale up online retail operations and the changes in consumer behaviour necessitated by the move online.

The report also provides Ti’s world leading market sizing analysis and growth forecasts. The report assesses cost breakdowns by channel and region, the structure of the e-fulfilment market and provides company profiles and strategies for the major players.


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This report contains

  • The trends and developments impacting e-commerce logistics in 2021, including the continued impact of Covid-19.
  • Comprehensive data and analysis on e-commerce logistics market size and growth from 46 countries as well as forecasts to 2025 by country
  • Cost structures of major e-retailers by retail channel, vertical sector and geography
  • Interviews and primary research with leading e-fulfilment, last mile providers and retailers
  • Strategic profiles of leading online retailers & LSPs

This report contains

  • The trends and developments impacting e-commerce logistics in 2021, including the continued impact of Covid-19.
  • Comprehensive data and analysis on e-commerce logistics market size and growth from 46 countries as well as forecasts to 2025 by country
  • Cost structures of major e-retailers by retail channel, vertical sector and geography
  • Interviews and primary research with leading e-fulfilment, last mile providers and retailers
  • Strategic profiles of leading online retailers & LSPs

Questions the report asks and answers

  • How did the market perform in 2020? And how has each region performed? 
  • What are the critical challenges and opportunities for LSPs and retailers?
  • How are retailers and manufacturers exploiting current opportunities within the market?
  • What is the key to e-retail success?
  • How has Covid impacted sustainability concerns and priorities? How are LSPs responding to increased sustainability efforts?
  • What are the differences in e-commerce logistics cost structures?
  • What are the challenges to cross-border e-commerce growth?
  • How does a retailer become more omni-channel?

Exclusive highlights

  • The global e-commerce logistics market grew by 27.3% in 2020 and is forecast to grow by a CAGR of 8.6% to 2025
  • Logistics costs as a percentage of sales are steadily rising over time.
  • Last mile is one of the major constraints of e-retailing and is now one of the most important sectors in logistics. 
  • Precise inventory management is key.
  • Despite the challenges presented by cross-border e-commerce operations, the growth potential is enormous. 
  • Returns are increasingly becoming a competitive sales point for retailers.
  • The global social commerce market is forecast to grow by approximately 34% in 2021.
  • For retailers to have a true impact on carbon emissions, sustainable practices need to be implemented throughout the entire supply chain.

1.0 Global e-commerce in 2021

1.1 e-commerce market growth

1.2 Impact of the Coronavirus Crisis

1.2.1 e-commerce triggers seismic shifts

1.3 Impact on Retail Sectors

1.4 Grocery Sector

1.4.1 Case Study: Amazon Jumps on the UK’s Grocery Sector Boom

1.4.2 Case Study: Alibaba doubles-down in the Chinese Grocery market

1.5 Clothing Sector

1.5.1 Retail Logistics Transformation

1.6 Consumer Electronics

1.6.1 Case Study: The Resurgence of the PC

Top Five Tablet Companies in 2020

1.6.2 Consumer electronics flight from Asia

1.7 Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

1.7.1 Case Study: Amazon Expands its Presence in Pharmaceuticals

1.8 E-commerce Growth in Developed Markets 2021

1.8.1 The UK Case Study: Consolidation in UK Fashion Retail

1.8.2 The US

1.8.3 Germany

1.9 e-commerce expansion in emerging markets

1.9.1 What’s Next for Developing Economies

1.9.2 Indonesia

1.9.3 China

1.9.4 Saudi Arabia

1.10 How Covid-19 changed the global e-commerce logistics market

1.10.1. Global e-commerce in 2020

1.10.2 Increased Competition in the cross-border Market

1.10.3 Returns

1.10.4 Case Study: Augmented Reality a Way to Reduce Returns

1.10.5 The Rise of Social Commerce

1.10.6 Sustainability has a Renewed Focus

1.10.7 Case Study:  Consumer Demand for Sustainability in online retail

1.10.8 Case Study: Can Fast-Fashion be Truly Sustainable

2.0 Market Sizing

2.1 Global

2.2 Asia Pacific

2.3 Europe

2.4 Middle East & North Africa e-commerce Market Size & Growth

2.5 North America

2.6 Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia

2.7 South America

2.8 Sub-Saharan Africa

3.0 e-commerce Logistics Costs: trends and dynamics in logistics spending amongst online retailers

3.1 Logistics Costs in Retail: Store-based, multi-/omnichannel & pure play

3.2 Geography

3.2.1 United States Amazon

3.2.2 Europe ASOS

3.3.3 China

3.3 Comparative Logistics Costs –UK, China and Global

3.3.1 Comparative Logistics Cost Growth –Selected Retailers Location and sector

3.4 Differences in e-commerce logistics cost structures

4.0 e-commerce Logistics Provider Profiles

4.1 Aramex

4.1.1 Brief Profile

4.1.2 Finances

4.1.3 Geography

4.1.4 Services

4.1.5 Strategy

4.2 Deutsche Post DHL

4.2.1 Brief profile

4.2.2 Finances

4.2.3 Geography

4.2.4 Services Post & Parcel Germany Express Supply Chain e-commerce Solutions

4.2.4 Strategy e-commerce Digitalisation Sustainability

4.3 DSV Panalpina

4.3.1 Brief profile



4.3.2 Finances

4.3.3 Geography

4.3.4 Services

4.3.5 Strategy

4.4 FedEx

4.4.1 Brief profile

4.4.2 Finances

4.4.3 Geography

4.3.4 Services

4.3.5 Strategy

4.5 Geodis

4.5.1 Brief Profile

4.5.2 Finances

4.5.3 Geography

4.5.4 Services

4.5.5 Strategy Geodis City Delivery Geodis Visibility Geodis MyParcel Geodis e-Logistics

4.6 GeoPost DPDgroup

4.6.1 Brief Profile

4.6.2 Finances

4.6.3 Geography

4.6.4 Services

4.6.5 Strategy

4.7 Kuehne + Nagel

4.7.1 Brief profile

4.7.2 Finances

4.7.3 Geography

4.7.4 Services

4.7.5 Strategy

4.8 UPS

4.8.1 Brief profile

4.8.2 Finances

4.8.3 Geography

4.8.4 Services Global Small Package Supply Chain & Freight

4.8.5 Strategy SMBs B2B and B2C e-commerce International growth markets

4.9 XPO Logistics

4.9.1 Brief profile

4.9.2 Finances

4.9.3 Geography

4.9.5 Strategy

5.0 e-commerce Platform Profiles

5.1 Alibaba

5.1.1 Brief Profile

5.1.2 Finances

5.1.3 Geography

5.1.4 Services Enhanced Point-to-Point Network and On-demand Delivery Scalable Fulfilment Network Online-to-offline logistics

5.1.5 Strategy

5.2 Lazada

5.2.1 Brief Profile

5.2.2 Finances

5.2.3 Services & Strategy

5.3 Amazon

5.3.1 Brief Profile

5.3.2 Finances

5.3.3 Services Contract logistics / value-added warehousing Express

5.3.4 Strategy Amazon Go Luxury Stores Expansion –India Logistics -Amazon Scout, Amazon Air & fulfilment centres


5.4.1 Brief Profile

5.4.2 Finances

5.4.3 Geography

5.4.4 Logistics Infrastructure JD Logistics

5.4.5 Services Technology





Andy Ralls

Andy is a quantitative analyst at Ti. He graduated from the University of Southampton with a Mathematics with Finance degree in 2014. In his studies, he chose a final year project on actuarial modelling and forecasting and enjoyed modules on statistical distribution theory, financial mathematics and macroeconomics.

Andy has since worked for a top accountancy firm and for a wealth management company. These experiences give him a strong understanding of company accounts and investment products and has given him a wider understanding of the financial sector.

Beth Poole

Beth joined Ti as a researcher in 2019. She graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Criminology and Sociology and a Masters in Social Science Research Methods. Both degrees provided her with a good knowledge and experience in both primary and secondary research which she now applies to her role at Ti. Beth enjoys analysing new trends in logistics and researching the emergence of new technologies. As part of her role as researcher Beth contributes to Logistics Briefing and Ti’s Global Supply Chain intelligence portal.

Dila Cebeci

Dila joined the Ti team in late 2019, having graduated from the Transatlantic Masters program from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill earlier that year. Paired with her Bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary American Studies from the Eberhard Karls University and professional experiences in the new media and communications she has been exploring and solidifying her interest in geopolitics, foreign relations, and international studies. The overwhelming overlap and relevance for the logistics sector has subsequently allowed her to utilise her acquired skills as a Research Analyst at Ti.

Gunjan Thukral

Gunjan is a Research Project Manager at Ti. She leads research projects and works closely with the team of analysts to decide research technique & methodology. She brings a wealth of logistics research and project management experience having spent more than a decade in the industry previously.

Nick Bailey

As Head of Research, Nick is responsible for all of Ti’s research products, including logistics market and vertical sector reports, as well as Ti’s flagship Global Supply Chain Intelligence (GSCi) market intelligence portal. Nick is actively involved in research for these product ranges, as well as in the development of new and existing research capabilities at Ti. Nick also coordinates the efforts of Ti’s team of researchers and analysts, and supports Ti’s consultancy offering for a global client base.

e-commerce logistics market grew by 27.3% in 2020 and will hit €557bn by 2025

8th April, 2021, Bath, UK, Transport Intelligence: Ti’s latest report, Global e-commerce logistics 2021, shows rapid growth in the e-commerce logistics market as online retail demand soars and consumer requirements for same or next day last mile delivery options rise sharply. Meanwhile, Covid-19 continues to change the retail landscape.

  • Global e-commerce logistics market grew by 27.3% in 2020
  • Global e-commerce logistics market to grow at a CAGR of 8.6% from 2020-2025
  • Online sales volumes grew rapidly in 2020 but logistics costs also increased
  • Logistics providers growing in importance in helping e-retailers meet consumer demands
  • Last mile provision and capacity a key constraint to e-commerce growth

The global e-commerce logistics market grew by 27.3% in 2020 and will hit €557bn by 2025. While the e-commerce logistics market is experiencing rapid growth during the pandemic the growth rate is expected to moderate to a still strong CAGR of 8.6% out to 2025. The moderation in growth is largely because of frontloading of e-commerce adoption with the pandemic accelerating online retail adoption through 2020. For example, online sales in the UK rising by 46% in 2020 according to the ONS.

Meanwhile, logistics costs increase for retail as sales move to more logistics intensive online channels and consumer demand for expensive same or next day last mile services rises sharply, raising e-commerce logistics volumes and overall expenditure on last mile services. Ti’s latest report shows that for many retailers their logistics costs as a percentage of sales are steadily rising over time, for instance Amazon’s have increased from 17.8% in 2011 to 31.0% in 2020. This increase in costs was partly driven by investment in networks to build long term reach and efficiency and partly as a result of the intensifying logistics requirements of online retail to meet consumer expectations.

Rising costs have made the management of inventory even more important for online retailers and underlined the need for efficiency. But costs appear to have been rising more on the last mile side. Ti’s latest estimates show that for pureplay online retailers expense on last mile services represents 53% of logistics costs, with fulfilment accounting for the other 47% in 2020.

Ti’s latest report also outlines how last mile provision has been a key constraint on growth since the outbreak of Covid-19, with some retailers having to suspend orders or remove options for next day delivery as the capacity of last mile providers is stretched.

The report also highlights the key trends in e-commerce logistics, exploring how logistics providers are helping retailers to cater to the latest demands of consumers, facilitating the fulfilment of orders from social commerce, managing returns effectively and setting in place the logistics to allow omnichannel retailers to reimagine their bricks and mortar stores for the post pandemic world.

Ti’s Head of Commercial Development, Michael Clover, said: “e-commerce has been one of the key growth sectors for logistics over the course of the pandemic with the rise in demand creating opportunities for LSPs and last mile providers to grow rapidly, as long as they can help retailers react to the changes in consumer demands and manage wildly changing trading conditions”.

This report is perfect for

  • Global manufacturers
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Supply chain managers and directors
  • Logistics procurement managers
  • Marketing managers
  • Knowledge managers
  • Investors
  • All C-level executives

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