Estonian market: huge potential to grow

ÄP 31. mai 2006, 00:00

What is the role of Estonia and Baltic Countries in the market of small parcels and express services in Europe at the moment?

The estimated value of the European CEP (courier, express, parcel) market is around 30 billion euros (2004), whereas the Baltic market was approx. 60 million euros, Estonia being 30% of that. From this aspect, the role is small.

What do you predict the role will be in five years, in 10 years?

The growth rate in Estonia is moving faster (8,7%) than in the Old EU countries (1,4%). The role of the Baltic countries is year by year increasing, until it reaches the level of maturity of Western Europe for example eight parcels per citizen. Given the small size of the domestic market in the Baltic countries, the same with the Scandinavian countries, the role in Europe can never be substantial.

What do you predict is the potential of the Baltic states in the future for express and small parcel services?

The potential comes with the increasing purchasing power per capita. As the consumption increases, the demand for faster deliveries is increasing, this gives less warehousing, more direct deliveries; good flows structure changes towards more and more express/parcels. The trend is also in more investments in production of high value products, normally delivered in small and fast shipments. The effect of the EU membership already there but still a huge potential to grow.

How does consolidation and companies joining together affect the market of express and small parcel services?

This tends to fewer but stronger providers with some niche players in the market. The global express integrators DHL, TNT, UPS and FedEx have a very strong position.

DHL, TNT and UPS are very much present in Europe as well as the European parcel operator Geopost/DPD.

All these companies have already established themselves in the Baltics.

Which are the trends of express services and small parcel transportation in Europe and in the world?

The trend from the customer perspective is to no longer differentiate between express and parcel products.

Neither does the customer care which mode of transportation is used. The most important in the future is the time, a reliable time. We are talking more about day certain and time certain deliveries of documents and parcels door to door.

Another trend that will continue is the growth of the parcel business. A continuous flow of small shipments instead of building up stocks and supply the customers with less frequency but heavy shipments.

The biggest hot spots of the market are liberalization of the postal services and American integrators interested in acquisitions in Europe.

The editor of Äripäev, Kristo Kiviorg took seven most popular small vans out to the field for a test.

In logistics and in business partners value agreements and filling them, without exceptions. Kiviorg found out that the idea of buying a commercial vehicle is different from buying a car for everyday driving. Even though the Estonian economy is growing fast and companies have more money to spend and invest, it is not correct, when buying a commercial vehicle, to only check the price tag. Company needs commercial vehicle to earn money, which means the vehicle needs to be reliable, durable and economical. Therefore it takes time and effort to choose a correct car which fulfil the needs of a particular firm.

Evert Kreek, the new leader of DHL Estonia predicts that Estonian market of freight forwarding is getting the wrinkles out and is going to be more balanced.

The differences between similar companies will disappear. The main reason to believe that is that the behaviour of customers has changed - customers needs have become more complicated and there is usually one or two logistics partner per company nowadays. "I think there is room for express road transportation supplier and warehouse operator, also for a logistics companies who can manage a customers supply chain from the beginning till the end," says Kreek.

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