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Germany’s eCommerce Industry: Top 5 Delivery Services

A detailed guide to the top parcel delivery companies in Germany, highlighting their service offerings, environmental initiatives, and the pros and cons of each.

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What factors contribute to the success of an e-commerce business? Finding a delivery company that is compatible with market demand is critical, in addition to selling the right product and marketing to your target group.

If you want to expand your e-commerce business to Germany but aren’t sure which parcel delivery companies to use, keep reading because this article was written specifically for you! We’ve compiled a list of Germany’s most efficient parcel delivery companies based on their service offerings, environmentally friendly shipping options, and a summary of their benefits and drawbacks.

Let’s start with some facts about German consumer habits to better understand the German market!

  • Pick-up points are used by nearly 20% of German consumers as a delivery method.
  • Nearly 80% of Germans anticipate a three-day delivery time limit.
  • Around 60% of German customers would abandon an online store due to high shipping costs.
  • More than 35% of Germans would pay a higher price for environmentally friendly delivery.‍

Some of these findings are startling, especially the fact that so many Germans abandon their digital shopping carts at the checkout due to high delivery costs. What’s more interesting is that one-third of German shoppers are willing to pay a premium for environmentally friendly delivery services! Clearly, there are benefits to be gained from improving the delivery process.

Finding the right delivery service for your needs can help you save money, increase sales, and improve customer satisfaction. Continue reading to get a better understanding of the situation and make the best decision!

Germany’s top five parcel delivery companies

#1 DHL

DHL, a division of the German logistics firm Deutsche Post, is the undisputed market leader. DHL Express, a new division launched in 2019, aims to attract online retailers by providing global express parcel and package services, as well as shipping and tracking solutions with personal account management. Small businesses can benefit from DHL Express’s lightning-fast shipping.

By updating its fleet to run on alternative fuels, the company is determined to reduce its environmental impact. DHL wants to convert 50% of its vehicles to compressed natural gas in the next few years and achieve zero-emission logistics by 2050.

Advantages

You can further personalize your offer by choosing a slow and cheap shipment plan or a fast and expensive one, depending on your expectations and the wide range of services already available at DHL. If you choose DHL, your package will be insured up to 500 euros and you will be able to track it at any time! Internationally operating companies that grow exponentially faster than others may find shipment tracking and delivery personalization appealing.

Drawbacks

Finding your ideal price plan can be difficult due to the many services and options available. In addition, if there are any issues, assistance may take a little longer than usual.

#2 Hermes Group

Otto GmbH, one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies, owns Hermes Group, a Hamburg-based delivery company. The company was founded in 1972, and between 1990 and 2000, it expanded to France and the United Kingdom. While Hermes is a strong competitor in Europe, it does not ship outside of the continent.

Advantages

You can track and insure your shipment in the same way that DHL does (up to 500 euros), and your domestic deliveries are almost always delivered within one day. Because Hermes provides some B2B services (such as lowering the price after 300 shipments), this model may appeal to smaller businesses.

Drawbacks

It may not be the best choice for internationally active, large e-commerce companies due to its inclusivity in Europe. Despite initiating an environmentally conscious act in 2010, they are still lagging behind DHL on the greenway.

#3 DPD

DPD Germany is a subsidiary of La Poste, France’s most well-known and largest logistic company, which provides national and international express services. Since 2012, DPD has been shipping carbon-neutrally after establishing a sustainable development strategy known as “Driving Change.” Although Europe is its primary market, it is also possible to ship to the United States and other countries such as India, Brazil, and South Africa.

Advantages

DPD’s international delivery time ranges from 24 to 72 hours, with next-day delivery guaranteed in the United States. DPD has the most straightforward pricing policy, with only five price classes and insurance for each parcel up to 520 euros. Also included is shipment tracking! Its environmentally conscious approach and zero-emission policy must be highlighted. DPD, congrats on this accomplishment!

Drawbacks

Saturday deliveries may cost you more money because they incur high additional costs.

#4 GLS

GLS is a British Royal Mail subsidiary based in Amsterdam that operates in 41 European countries, eight US states, and two Canadian provinces. The ExpressParcel service allows parcels to be delivered within 24 to 48 hours to neighboring countries, and within 72 to 120 hours to almost all countries over a longer distance. Since the announcement of the “KlimaProtect” action plan, GLS has been operating in a climate-neutral manner for the past two years and has planned further development.

Advantages

GLS has a very straightforward pricing structure, and parcel insurance up to 750 euros is included. Within Germany, shipping takes about one day, and within the EU, it takes up to three days.

Drawbacks

GLS has fewer pick-up locations and only a few metropolitan areas for Saturday delivery when compared to the other companies. GLS may not be the best option for retailers with high shipping volumes.

To protest poor working conditions, hundreds of parcel delivery workers went on strike in the Italian cities of Bergamo, Brescia, Piacenza, Bologna, and Parma in 2016.

#5 UPS

UPS is the world’s largest shipping company, employing nearly half a million people and delivering approximately 5.5 billion packages per year worldwide. Although zero-emission shipments cost an extra 12 cents, the Seattle-based company operates similarly to its competitors by aiming for climate neutrality.

Advantages

UPS’s extensive global network ensures prompt and consistent delivery. The average delivery time is 1 to 2 business days, and parcel insurance costs $1.05 per $100 of value, up to a maximum of 500 euros.

Drawbacks

UPS, despite having shipping services in Europe and the rest of the world, is primarily focused on the United States. In comparison to its competitors, there are fewer pick-up locations, and you may have to pay extra for Sunday delivery.

Do Your Own Deliveries

It is important to ensures that your shipments arrive safely, securely, and on time, all while keeping your costs to a minimum. The delivery services above charge for all of this, but what if you could keep more of that revenue for yourself? You can with EasyRoutes.

EasyRoutes is a route optimization app that allows you to generate multiple delivery routes in seconds. You can then share those routes with your drivers or deliver them yourself using our mobile-friendly delivery view.

Learn more at Roundtrip.ai, or click the button below to install EasyRoutes from the Shopify App Store:

Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store
Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store

About Roundtrip

Roundtrip's mission is to equip every business with the software tools they need to deliver products to their customers in a delightful way. Thousands of Shopify merchants worldwide choose EasyRoutes to power their local deliveries across dozens of product categories, from meal kits and groceries to coffee, cupcakes, kibble, and so much more. Our easy-to-use route planning and delivery optimization app is certified Built for Shopify, a two-time Shopify staff pick, and the top rated local delivery app on the Shopify App Store.

"I was surprised to find EasyRoutes so easy to incorporate into my business. I didn’t skip a beat from switching over from Google Maps to this more advanced program that gave me everything that I needed and more for myself and my customers. It’s hard to imagine a better logistics company than EasyRoutes because everything is there."
Drink Juice Co.
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