Sound logistics services are critical for supporting business-to-consumer cross-border e-commerce (CBEC), given consumers’ expectations for a fast, affordable, and reliable order delivery. Yet fulfilling orders placed by customers located in a different country can be quite challenging: transportation is more expensive, shipping times are longer, more entities are involved in the process, and goods may be subject to import and export tariffs and other regulations.
This paper offers an overview of some of the main logistics models and shipping options currently available to cross-border merchants. We discuss how each of these alternatives can potentially address at least some of the challenges faced by merchants and offer our recommendations for how they should select the right logistics strategy for their specific business needs. We also highlight some of the ways in which the logistics landscape has evolved in recent years and discuss how these trends help mitigate some of the pain points sellers and buyers engaged in CBEC have traditionally faced.
The paper focuses specifically on B2C trade between China and the U.S. — two dominant players in the global CBEC market.