Michel Barnier, the European commissioner for the internal market, is to announce steps towards improving parcel delivery services within the European Union as part of attempts to increase the amount of trade carried out online.
The European Commission is scheduled to put forward a consultative green paper on an ‘integrated parcel delivery market' on Wednesday (28 November) that could lead to proposals to create an EU-wide delivery system. Barnier will say that the existing market for parcel deliveries is not providing a basic reliable and affordable service for consumers. He will also say that deliveries are not meeting the needs of retailers.
Parcel deliveries have seen a huge expansion over the past few years with the growth of online sales, but only a fraction of them take place between different countries. Studies show that consumers are wary of buying goods online from websites based abroad because of the high price of deliveries, fears about the reliability of the service and a lack of knowledge about what to do when things go wrong. Small retailers say that they are reticent about selling their goods cross-border for similar reasons.
Barnier will consult on the steps needed to create an ‘EU single market for deliveries' and look at what measures are needed to improve the convenience and affordability of delivery services and promote improved co-operation between delivery operators in different countries.