How Your 3PL Can Fulfil Orders in the European Market
Published: 08 Feb 2023
Since Brexit, many UK businesses looking to fulfil orders to customers based in the EU have experienced significant friction. For UK brands wanting to distribute and grow abroad, this is a hurdle that needs to be surmounted to ensure prolonged growth.
The best way to enter the European market and avoid potential red tape is with an agile, proactive fulfilment partner. A 3PL that has room for you to scale will allow for unhindered growth into new markets, setting you up for future success.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how exactly a 3PL with an EU presence can help your brand fulfil orders as you scale into Europe.
European Fulfilment in a Post-Brexit World
Post-Brexit, it now makes the most sense for UK brands to store and distribute their stock from a location within the EU. A well-equipped 3PL can make this a reality by housing your products and running your order fulfilment at their EU facilities, bypassing the need for routine international shipping from the UK.
Of course, many e-commerce businesses are put off scaling into Europe initially because of the perceived logistical hassle. Even within the EU, every country has its own e-commerce nuances, and it can seem a daunting task to set up shop outside the UK.
This is where specialist fulfilment providers come in. The emergence of D2C as a viable retail format has meant that even businesses in the early stages of scaling can leverage international markets. Virtual storefronts for D2C businesses are popping up across the globe as entrepreneurs notice the opportunity to tap into new markets – and it is capable 3PLs that are enabling them to capitalise on this opportunity.
In the EU specifically, this most often involves relocating a portion of stock to warehouses in Europe, thus mitigating bureaucratic import issues on an order-by-order basis. This doesn’t just make delivery itself a simpler task; every aspect of the fulfilment process benefits from your 3PL partner being localised in the EU.
ILG’s Approach to European Fulfilment
ILG is perfectly positioned to assist UK businesses with customers in the EU. From our facilities in Wrocław, Poland, we’re able to store and process goods from UK businesses, helping them meet European consumer demand head-on.
Marketplaces in the EU are typically region-specific. This means it can be difficult for brands to break into that space for the first time without the support of a capable 3PL.
Beauty brand Malin+Goetz is just one of many ILG clients who are benefiting from of stocking in our warehouses in Poland. Order fulfilment via ILG Poland has enabled them to reach their EU customers much more quickly and efficiently.
The best part? Their expansion was straightforward to set up. With an established presence in Europe, the operational barriers characteristic of such an expansion were turned into a swift, efficient process. ILG’s integrated approach also meant that Malin+Goetz’s account management and customer service functions could be retained with ILG’s highly experienced UK-based teams.
“ILG has been our long-standing 3PL partner in the UK market – sending our products all over Europe for us. When we heard that ILG would open a warehouse in Poland we saw a huge potential to reach our customers even more quickly and efficiently. Usually there are all sorts of operational barriers and challenges to opening an additional warehouse location but ILG’s set up made the process swift and efficient, like an extension of their existing service and functionality. With the new location operating through the same management and customer service team we were already used to in the UK we felt supported all the way through, and it’s been a very smooth experience!”General Manager Europe, MALIN+GOETZ
The Infrastructure that Enables ILG’s European Fulfilment
By localising the fulfilment process, we help our clients establish their own footholds in Europe. Our dedicated fulfilment centres are strategically located in Poland, just 50 miles from the border with Germany. Distribution from there to customer doorsteps across the EU is fast, cost-efficient and unrestricted by post-Brexit cross-border controls. Further enabling our reach is a network of more than 100 facilities across Europe, courtesy of our relationship with Yusen Logistics.
The potential for D2C brands working with a 3PL is huge: gain access to new markets with relative ease, with none of the logistical hassles of managing international order fulfilment yourself. All you need is an EU webstore – we handle picking and packing directly through our secure, seamless integration with your storefront. Find out more about the technology enabling this integration here.
Why Keep Stock in the EU?
Splitting your stock management may appear daunting, but partnering with an experienced 3PL will ensure you pull it off successfully, and make the difference between unreliable deliveries and an extremely agile, customer-friendly service.
In addition, since Brexit, shipping each order to the EU from the UK can quickly become an expensive endeavour.
By establishing a physical base in Europe via your 3PL, you can continually build your brand abroad and enjoy ongoing growth, courtesy of your fulfilment provider’s flexibility. This all comes at a reduced cost to your business while promising quicker EU delivery times and frictionless client service when you need it.
But What if I Want to Scale Further?
When entering a new market, you want to know that there’s room to grow. This is why it’s so important to work with an agile fulfilment partner; one that can accommodate spikes in orders and sustained growth by meeting your fulfilment needs head-on.
At ILG, our clients that branch out into the EU are afforded a high level of scalability. We can meet the demands of busy periods and sustained growth alike. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to successful fulfilment; agility and efficiency are vital in an ever-quickening world, and a 3PL might be just the catalyst your business needs to attain them.
Find Out More About European Fulfilment with ILG
Ready to reach customers in the EU with greater ease and agility? As your brand grows, we work with you to give you the fulfilment solutions you need. We’ve helped a variety of customers launch and expand into European markets – explore our fulfilment case studies to see the success stories we’ve facilitated.
Contact our expert teams at ILG today to get started.