Spring launches hybrid service to speed UK e-tailers to US success


The UK division of one of the world's biggest mail and parcels solutions providers has launched a new 'hybrid' service to support attempts by domestic online retailers to crack the lucrative US market.

Spring UK, which is wholly owned by PostNL, has boasted that the Commercial Express service represents "the perfect combination" for smaller e-commerce firms needing fast deliveries, but unable to meet the tariffs quoted by some express carriers.

The best of both worlds for smaller e-tailers

Managing Director, Steve Ferguson, explained that the service - which uses commercial carriers for expedited customs clearance into a number of US destinations and USPS as the principal final mile provider - had been developed following extensive discussions with ambitious retail brands. Even before it had begun operation, he added, Spring UK had received "substantial" advance orders from e-tailers who recognised the system's merits.

"This is a service which, in effect, amounts to the best of both worlds for smaller e-tailers who desire speedy deliveries to keep customers happy, but who have neither the volumes nor the frequency of custom to routinely rely on express couriers. Reliable estimates, in fact, have indicated that up to 70 per cent of e-commerce purchases are not delivered by commercial carriers. Many retailers face the same challenge when trying to penetrate the cross-border market and the US in particular which accounts for an ever-larger proportion of international orders placed with online retailers based in the UK”, he explains.

Mr Ferguson continues: "Given our rather distinctive role in the delivery market as a broker or consultant to brands, we took time to tie together the essential elements of Commercial Express in order to identify exactly what they were looking for. What we are now able to do is use commercial carriers for fast point-to-point shipments into multiple US destinations. In addition, whilst USPS is able to fulfil a very vital role as a very familiar, trusted final mile delivery specialist across much of the country. Clients will be able to take advantage of the likes of the commercials' urban subsidiaries in metropolitan areas. That adds speed and yet takes away some of the cost associated with routing parcels purely via commercial carriers. Furthermore, we are even able to tailor the service to meet very individual needs.”

"As a result, we are confident that this will not only help give retailers a competitive edge but improve our prospects of growing the share of transatlantic e-commerce volumes which we currently handle”, Steve Ferguson says.

Destination United States

Recent independent research concluded that overseas customers were responsible for as many as one-third of all orders placed with the UK's online retailers. Many of those goods - up to 20 per cent of outbound cross-border e-commerce - are bound for consumers in the United States.

Mr Ferguson outlined how the Commercial Express service was fully tracked and offered complete coverage of the US and would be able to carry packages up to 10.5 kilograms in weight. Its launch marks the second major product enhancement by Spring UK in the last six months. At the end of last year, it announced that the integration of Hermes, Yodel and DHL Parcel UK to its platform meant that it was able to offer domestic delivery services for the first time. The firm - which is wholly owned by Post NL - had previously only been able to support online retailers exploiting the growing appetite for UK brands in foreign marketplaces. For more information please contact us.