Fulfillment: ShipLeader is planning its European strategy

In 2010 the French fulfillment company ShipLeader, along with five other (German, British, Dutch, Italian and Polish) companies, founded a network of European fulfillment specialists called F4E (Fulfillment for Europe). Thanks to the pooling of its members’ logistical resources, the association (whose web site may be found here) presently handles about ten million shipments a year, 80% of which is accounted for by textile orders.

Eddy Richauvet, ShipLeader’s president and partner, provides his initial assessment of the partnership: “the fashion industry is one of the most dynamic sectors in e-commerce, one which best lends itself to a multinational way of thinking,” he explains. “In the past, you thought more about the centralization of resources, with a single warehouse for several markets. Yet this is less relevant, as far as costs go, than the returns management that we offer through our regional distribution centers. This is also how we started in France - through the management of returns for G-Star and the American company KellerSports.”

F4E has already attracted some 250 customers, 180 of which are textile industry-customers. Among its customers are brands such as Mexx, Falke, Palmers, Burlington, Kangaroos, Babyone and Betty Barclay, and the group intends to use its 250,000 m² of European warehouses in order to expand further and appeal to new brands by offering cost savings.

“For the time being, we are supporting our partners’ customers in their attempts to conquer the French market,” Eddy Richauvet said, “but soon, it will be our task to support French companies who wish to engage in trade elsewhere in Europe. Negotiations with several major networks are already under way for this.”

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