DHL Express expects historical peak season in global trade

Bonn — DHL Express expects unprecedented online shopping and shipping volumes during the upcoming peak season 2020.

Image: DHL

The continuing growing levels of globalization and digitalization result in strongly increasing number of merchants selling globally and online marketplaces, the company said, such as shopping apps via which customers can choose from offerings all around the world.

As a consequence, cross-border trade has continuously grown over the last years. Further, due to this year’s predominating uncertainties coming with the pandemic, consumers are shifting their shopping activities to the online world like never before. This will particularly apply to the upcoming popular shopping days such as ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ as well as to the whole Christmas shopping season.

As a result, DHL Express is expecting an all-time high in e-commerce trade around the globe. Having already experienced around 35 per cent e-commerce volume growth in 2020 in its network, the upcoming peak season will further accelerate this and result in higher shipment quantities above 50 percent compared to last year’s peak season.

It comes as no surprise that e-commerce numbers are rising, as this trend has already been visible during the past years. However, due to COVID-19 the volume of shipments grew tremendously higher than has been expected. Numbers from the most important shopping occasions from earlier this year have already shown an increase in online sales by at least 35 percent.

“Covid-19 and its impacts such as curfews or distancing led to massive changes in the retail sector all over the world”, said Michiel Greeven, EVP global sales at DHL Express. “As a consequence, the buying behaviour of consumers, but also B2B buyers, changed significantly and shifted more and more into the online world. From an e-commerce perspective some might even say that Covid-19 brought 2030 to 2020, with online shopping and the necessary shipping as the new normal. And this not only counts for B2C retailers but also in the light of B2B e-commerce. Particularly in current days of uncertainty many giant stores will be going online with their sales promotion. This will have its effect on peak season as well and shoppers will be mainly going online to get the best deals instead of going to physical stores. With the result of fast shipping needs as well.”

Facing such increasing volumes, and in parallel Covid-19 spreading around the globe, the challenges for logistics providers are tremendous. In addition to the consistent observation of the situation and flexible management of precaution measures to keep employees safe, the unprecedented peak of shipments poses an additional challenge for logistics.