“Germany’s most diligent online shoppers live in the countryside, as might be suspected in the big cities. According to a recent study, the top of the package budget with just under 32 packages per capita is the district of Southwest Palatinate. It has a population of around 95,000.
Cochem-Zell county with 61,900 inhabitants comes in second place with only slightly fewer shipments. Both regions are part of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
By way of comparison, with around 20 packages per capita, this rate is significantly lower in cities of millions such as Berlin or Hamburg. In this ranking, Duisburg has the highest number of parcel deliveries in a city with just under 30 parcel shipments per capita, thus replacing Wuppertal from the previous survey in this position. In the current top ten list, Duisburg and Bonn are the only cities in ninth and tenth place – along with eight counties.
All this data comes from a representative survey of 40,000 consumers on shopping behaviour last year by the Federal Association of E-Commerce and Mail Order (bevh). From these values, the Hamburg-based consulting firm MRU has calculated a distribution among the approximately 400 districts and cities in Germany and determined the largest product groups.
Particularly striking in the investigation is Amazon’s position in the parcel market. With 849 million parcels, the online retailer was by far the most important consignor and also a major customer in the German parcel market last year.
However, this number also includes those parcelshipments sold through the Amazon marketplace, as well as large quantities of returns. This means that the world’s largest online retailer in Germany has a share of just under 28 percent in the parcel market.
Electronics in the most sought after
The view into the packages is a surprise, because there has been a change at the top of the most popular orders. For the first time, electronics is the most sought-after product group with 347 million packages.
Right behind it is clothing with 345 million parcel shipments. By way of comparison, food is at a much lower level with just over 64 million shipments, although it has been forecasting high growth for years. Drugstore items reach a similar size.
Electronics are also at the forefront of Amazon’s place with 95 million packages. However, books already come in second place with around 91 million parcel shipments, ahead of household goods and clothing. This actually refers to books, not e-books.
This makes the Germans Europe’s largest nation of parcel recipients ahead of Britain and France. More than 1.9 billion parcels were delivered to households in Germany last year. This is more than half of all parcel shipments and represents an increase of seven percent. On the other hand, the second area of the parcel market, shipping between business addresses, stagnated at just over one billion shipments and an increase of one percent.
But Amazon has long since become its own parcel service and uses companies such as the postal subsidiary DHL or the Otto subsidiary Hermes only for part of the shipping tasks. According to the industry service KEP-Messages, Amazon currently operates or builds 30 locations for parcel delivery in Germany.
Two-thirds of these sorting and shipping facilities are already in operation, with the rest expected to start operating by the end of 2021. By autumn 2019, this had been a third less.
Amazon is now expanding in the countryside
The trend towards the parcel market in the countryside is also reflected in Amazon’s logistics expansion plans. While the focus was initially on the expansion of its own network in conurbations such as Munich, Berlin, the Ruhr area or Hamburg, medium-sized cities and peripheral locations are now increasingly interesting. In addition to locations such as Lampertswalde near Dresden or Cloppenburg, distribution centres are currently being established in Emden in East Frisia or in Völklingen in the Saarland.
Market experts expect Amazon to align itself in Germany with its sister companies in the US and the UK. There, the Group already transports almost half of its shipments via its own network. Amazon does not give figures on how high this proportion is in this country at the moment.
How quickly the online retailer is becoming a dominant figure in parcel shipping Ion, shows the example of Italy. A few weeks ago, the national regulator Agcom published figures showing that Amazon Italia Transport increased its share of the domestic package market from 8 percent to 59 percent between 2016 and 2018.
As a result, the online retailer has become the number one retailer in the Italian parcel market and has ousted the national post office Italiane from this position. Over the same period, Italian Post has plummeted from 60 percent to just 27 percent market share in parcel shipping to private addresses.