Ecommerce was always on Posts’ radar, but this past year brought it front and center. From our recently released Future of Posts 2021 Report, it’s clear that while the ecommerce boom has led to added revenue for Posts, it has also added complications, especially when shipping across country borders. This is why we’ve collected responses from over 151 respondents from postal operators around the world to get the bottom of understanding cross-border ecommerce challenges.
From this analysis, we’ve found that a lack of real-time tax and duty estimation services, as well as transit times are the biggest problems Posts face today when shipping across borders. Read on to discover what’s holding Posts back from addressing cross-border ecommerce issues.
Consumers are shopping online now more than ever, and their actions are resulting in parcels being shipped across country borders much more frequently. Because of the many new international ecommerce standards and resolutions implemented in the past few years, it’s no surprise that 73% of Posts cited cross-border shipping as the second most affected area of their business during the pandemic.
Some of the hardest hurdles to overcome are real-time tax and duty estimation. In recent years, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and Universal Postal Union (UPU), OECD, PostEurop, and the European Commission enacted new cross-border shipping standards, leaving Posts with the daunting challenge of navigating the pricing adjustments and additional fees. As a result, postal operators who responded to our Future of Posts survey reported real-time tax and duty estimation as one of their biggest obstacles to cross-border growth.
Transit times are also a major concern, with a majority of postal operators citing it as a main obstacle to their growth in cross-border ecommerce. Getting packages to where they need to be domestically has its challenges, but shipping internationally just has so many more variables to consider.
Documentation difficulties is another roadblock that is hindering Posts’ ability to scale international shipping services. Cost transparency, compliancy risks, and product restriction screening were also noted as obstacles to cross-border ecommerce growth.
With repeated changes to their regulations, 86% of respondents from postal operators in the EMEA region cited real-time tax and duty estimation as a major obstacle to cross-border services expansion, but Posts from the Rest of World (ROW) weren’t far behind at 63%. Posts from ROW, on the other hand, stated that transit times posed the biggest challenge for them at 83% compared to 50% of Posts from EMEA.
These two challenges far outweighed other obstacles to cross-border ecommerce growth, with the next largest obstacle—documentation difficulties—coming in at 43% for EMEA and 40% for ROW.
Keeping up with the unrelenting rise in ecommerce volumes continues to be a challenge for Posts—particularly across country borders. With various custom regulations, taxes, and duty fees, it can be difficult to make the cross-border shipping process a streamlined one for Posts and customers. This is where Escher shines. With Riposte Taxes, Duties & Compliance, Posts can screen for restricted products and denied parties, identify product classification, estimate taxes and duties, and more.
Get the Future of Posts 2021 Report
We’ve identified many more cross-border challenges Posts are facing and, in some cases, the results vary greatly by region. Discover how Posts around the world are dealing with these and other challenges by downloading the Future of Posts Report today.