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6 Steps to Achieving a Successful eCommerce Business

6 Steps to Achieving a Successful eCommerce Business

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Shopping online provides consumers with flexibility and convenience in their busy lives, that’s why it’s no surprise that the global eCommerce market is expected to reach $5.5 trillion in 2022*. From clothing items, toiletries and furniture, to food shops and pharmaceutical items, almost anything can be ordered online and delivered straight to your doorstep.

In this competitive market, what are some ways you can ensure that you are running a successful eCommerce business?

We believe that business efficiency is vital, especially for an eCommerce business — after all an efficient business is a profitable one!

Here are 6 ways to achieve a more efficient eCommerce business:

1. Where does the time go?

The first step to increasing efficiency is working out where your time goes, and this covers everything from your employees’ time/productivity to eCommerce delivery. By working out the allocation of time you can highlight what areas need to be looked at and come up with a plan to streamline your operations.

It can be difficult to track this kind of data when it comes to delivery, but with the help of GFS Reportor, our multi-carrier parcel shipping solution, you can manage all delivery performance criteria such as parcel volumes, carrier performance, service frequency, geographical distribution, and filter by date, carrier and location to see the exact set of data you need.

2. Listen to your employees

Efficiency and productivity go hand in hand. If you give your employees the opportunity to voice their feedback not only will you gain some valuable insight, it will help to keep them motivated. Whether your team is remote or in-office, keeping communication lines open helps run things smoothly by preventing mistakes and misunderstandings, and allowing improvements.

3. Understand the 80-20 rule

The 80-20 rule developed by Pareto, is based around 80% of the effects/outcomes from a certain situation coming from 20% of the causes. For example, a business could have a very loyal customer base that contributes to 80% of all profits and comes from only 20% of the same repeating customers. This rule can be uniquely applied to any business and can help you focus your efforts in the right areas, whether it’s to save money or invest more.

4. Manage customer expectations

The customer always comes first, that’s why their happiness is key to an efficient eCommerce business. A few ways you can achieve this is by ensuring first-time delivery success by significantly reducing the number of lost or delayed parcels, building a customer service team to deal with any issues, and ensuring that customer feedback is always taken on onboard.

GFS Manager is a parcel management system that can help your customer service team solve eCommerce delivery problems fast through direct contact with carriers and consignees. We believe in our system so much that it is even used by our own Customer Care team as part of our Managed Multi-Carrier Service.

warehouse worker moving parcels

5. Automate order fulfilment

As we touched on at the beginning of this blog, online shopping provides convenience to customers, but expectations are growing, and it is not enough to just sell online with standard delivery. Your customers want choice and efficient delivery options, or they will go elsewhere to one of your competitors.

GFS Checkout offers a choice of more than 1,000 delivery services from 50 carriers that is tailored to the customer – from click and collect to next-day delivery — with full track-and-trace facility. As delivery specialists, our managed multi-carrier parcel delivery service is equipped with state-of-the-art technology for speed and accuracy.

Highlight this stat on page: GFS Checkout customers reported a 16.6% higher basket conversion rate.

6. Take the pressure off

Sometimes the saying is true — you can’t do it all. And luckily you don’t have to. Outsourcing some of your operations is a great way to free up resources and access specialised expertise and leading technologies to become a more efficient business with greater capacity.

Whether you’re a small business or a larger corporation needing an extra pair of hands to ensure things are running smoothly, GFS Operations could be the answer you’re looking for! Our team of logistics experts work round the clock to make sure collections, deliveries, and returns run as smoothly as possible. And just in case something doesn’t go to plan, finding a ‘Plan B’ is what we do best, so you can relax and have confidence that delivery won’t let you down, no matter what.

GFS, your trusted multi-carrier partner

We see delivery differently. Our multi-carrier shipping service can be integrated into one single technology platform for all of your eCommerce delivery and returns, locally within the UK or globally in the EU, US, or rest of the world.

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2022-06-21T15:20:10+00:00June 21st, 2022|

Avoiding the pitfalls of international eCommerce shipping

Avoiding the pitfalls of international eCommerce shipping

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Selling internationally can help you reach more customers and achieve worldwide business growth. Retail eCommerce sales across the world amounted to £3.9 trillion in 2021 and its estimated to almost double over the next four years, reaching £6 trillion by 2025! But, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the operational complexities of international eCommerce shipping. So how can you avoid the pitfalls of cross-border delivery and returns to maximise your global growth opportunity?

Deciphering Duties and Taxes…

47% of customers are put off from buying from international sellers due to lack of transparency over custom charges, and as every country has its own duty and tax requirements, tax compliance is one of the biggest challenges of global eCommerce shipping.

You can’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to Duties & Taxes. Don’t pay the correct amount or submit the correct documents, and your parcel could either be held at customs or the costs will revert to your customer – which will only annoy and frustrate them if they’re not expecting it.

There are a number of tools and services that can make it easier to manage Duties & Taxes. For example, shipping with IOSS (to the EU) or DTP (Duties & Taxes Paid) and having a Duty Deferment account can help manage compliancy, as well as cash flow, so you can ship to customers worldwide without tax complexities impacting your customer.

Get all the facts on international eCommerce across the world

eCommerce in the USA
eCommerce in AUS & NZ

International eCommerce delivery in a multi-market world

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Will Delivery Make or Break Your Customer Experience

A recent survey found that 36% will switch to another retailer after a negative delivery experience, but what makes a great experience in the UK, might not be the same in the USA, China or Brazil.

Offering a wide range of delivery options, for customers both at home and abroad, will help customers choose the best delivery for them. Whether they want to pay a bit extra for an express service, or would prefer to Click & Collect, offering choice puts the onus on the customer to make a decision around what suits them best, making them far more likely to feel satisfied with their delivery and overall shopping experience.

Not sure where to start with international delivery options? GFS International eCommerce Services can do the leg work for you.

Find out about GFS International eCommerce Services

Cracking Global Returns

Returns are already a real bugbear for most eCommerce businesses and this feeling is only amplified when it comes to cross-border returns. Longer transit times, higher costs and lack of parcel visibility can make cross-border returns time-consuming and costly. But returns are unavoidable and customers expectations are increasingly becoming more demanding – and these can vary from country to country.

Paperless returns can help you offer dynamic returns options to customers, so they can choose the best method for them, delivering a smooth and seamless omnichannel shopping experience no matter where they are in the world. From an operational perspective, taking returns online creates a singular view of all inbound inventory and returns data, offering greater visibility and control of cross-border returns for retailers.

Intrigued? Why not see if paperless returns could work for you? Watch our demo of GFS Global Returns Pro!

600% increase in parcel volumes in 8 years

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Taking pressure off internal operations

There is no one single carrier that can do it all. Some carriers are limited by the countries they delivery to, and some may be more costly in certain countries than others. For this reason, working with multiple carriers is essential. However, working with multiple carriers does come with its own challenges, from managing different contracts, to comparing costs to ensure you are getting the best value. Working with multiple carriers also means having multiple IT integrations specific for each carrier, but this can lead to hidden costs and complexities.

Working with a multi-carrier global partner like GFS gives you access to a wide range of international freight solutions at competitive rates, without having to manage the relationships and contracts. All with just one technology integration that allows you to offer different delivery and returns options, transparency and compliance with duties and taxes, track and trace, and a customer service team. Check it out below!

GFS International eCommerce Services explained

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Talk to us about International eCommerce Delivery

Giving customers a seamless delivery and returns experience is vital for successful international selling Once you have the right mix of technology and expertise, you can crack the global eCommerce shipping challenge with a full loop service that is simple and easy, even across borders.

References: Statista, 2022, Sendcloud, 2021, RetailX eCommerce Delivery Report, 2021
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2022-06-21T13:58:50+00:00June 16th, 2022|

4 Ways to Cut Your Ecommerce Business Shipping Costs

4 ways to cut your eCommerce business shipping costs

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For eCommerce businesses, shipping costs can significantly lower profit margins, and unfortunately for many smaller businesses it is becoming a tighter squeeze. If you are not one of the big players, such as Amazon, you miss out on getting discounted shipping costs with large carriage purchase, and are also unable to pass on any cost benefit or offer your customers all of the shipping options that they look for. Nevertheless, whether you are a big or small company, trying to reduce shipping costs is at forefront of everyone’s minds.

GFS is an expert in managed multi-carrier eCommerce delivery, and we want to share our top 4 tips to cut your shipping costs:

1.The ‘Cheat code’ to shipping rate discount — no matter your size

How can your business get discounted shipping rates like the big eCommerce businesses? By joining forces with a multi-carrier partner like GFS, you are able to get all of the perks! As one of the biggest buyers of carriage in the UK, our buying power enables us to pass on savings to you.

Make Multi-Carrier Shipping Simple

Our Managed Multi-Carrier Services

Tracking history for all parcels worldwide

eCommerce Tracking Software

2. ‘Track and Trace’ of the parcel world

Missing parcels, or even delayed parcels, cause issues for both your business and customers. Your business will lose money on the lost product and potentially miss out on any repeat purchases due to a loss of trust from your customer. To avoid anything going wrong with your package’s journey, all our services are fully managed by our pro-active Customer Care team, who use their expertise to identify and resolve delivery issues before they impact your customer, ensuring a seamless delivery experience for every. single. parcel.

3. Save time, save money: Hello, Automation!

Operating your deliveries through automation will make it most seamless and efficient, saving you money AND time. The extra time can be channeled productively to grow and improve other business operations. Start slow — one process to definitely automate is your labeling and despatch, and through GFS Selector you can do just that! Our fast, robust, and scalable platform gives you access to over 1000 different delivery services, sales channels, and countries.

Automated parcel labeling for 1000+ carrier services 

GFS eCommerce Software

Purpose-built warehouse and tailored storage solutions

GFS Fulfillment

4. The power of outsourcing

Outsourcing your fulfilment to a UK fulfilment service can save your business time, money, and space. Everything from inventory storage and packaging, to labelling and despatching your parcels is all done for you, freeing up your resources to focus on growing sales and increasing turnover.

Welcome to a new era in shipping technology!

We want to help you raise your game with increased competitiveness and grow into a strong market leader within the industry. Our Enterprise Carrier Management platform offers a complete shipping software toolkit that enhances every stage of the delivery journey, from delivery options at the checkout, to labelling, tracking and reporting, and returns – across all carriers, countries, and sales channels – through one single integration.

We have designed our software to provide you with everything you need to operate at full efficiency! It all works alongside our managed multi-carrier parcel shipping solutions so you can take eCommerce delivery for your customers to the next level!

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2022-05-20T10:51:19+00:00May 20th, 2022|

Sustainable Shipping: eCommerce Guide to Eco-friendly Packaging

Sustainable Shipping: eCommerce Guide to Eco-friendly Packaging

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Sustainability is a growing cause of concern across many industries as well as in the everyday life of consumers. And with global eCommerce sales expected to reach $5.4 trillion this year, it comes as no surprise that sustainable shipping is a hot topic [1]!

It doesn’t look like online sales will be slowing down any time soon, but something needs to be done to reduce the environmental impact of all these deliveries. One significant way to achieve this is through more conscious packaging.

47% of customers would pay £1 more for sustainable delivery options.

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 What is eco-friendly packaging?

Eco packaging refers to what sustainable materials are used for packaging your items. These eco-friendly packaging materials include biodegradable packaging, compostable packaging, and recyclable packages that have minimal impact on the environment because they are non-toxic and made from materials that reduce your carbon footprint.

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition defines eco-friendly packaging as [2]:

  • Is beneficial, safe, & healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle
  • Meets market criteria for performance and cost
  • Is sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable energy
  • Is physically designed to only use renewable energy
  • Is effectively reused in a closed-loop cycle

Why Businesses Need to Implement Sustainable Shipping

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Eco-friendly packaging: The benefits for your business, consumers and the environment:

1.Help the planet

The number one and most important benefit of switching to eco-friendly packaging is the reduced carbon emissions by your business.

2.Improve brand reputation

Your consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of how their buying habits are affecting the environment, so by offering sustainable shipping solutions you can appeal to the eco-conscious consumer.

3.Increase profit margins

You may think that putting more effort into choosing eco-friendly packaging will increase costs, but in actual fact it is often cheaper!

4.Beneficial for all stakeholders

The carbon emissions and toxins released from standard packaging are harmful, so deciding to use sustainable packaging is a big step in helping to not only protect the environment, but protect every planet Earth resident!

GFS Sustainable Shipping Solutions

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How to implement eco-friendly packaging into your sustainable shipping solutions:

At GFS we help our customers take the first to ‘Go Green’ with sustainable shipping solutions and eco-friendly packaging options. We understand that becoming more sustainable is important for the planet, and an increasing priority for your customers. As part of our managed multi-carrier delivery services, we give your customers access to more sustainable shipping options, plus our state-of-the-art shipping software makes it even easier for you to offer them!

Find out more about our sustainable shipping solutions

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2022-06-16T09:36:36+00:00May 20th, 2022|

5 Myths on Post-Brexit Trade with the EU

IOSS: 5 Myths on Post-Brexit Trade with the EU

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Is your business one of the 47% UK businesses whose sales and revenue have been impacted due to reduced or complete halt to trading with the EU?

Despite EU being the biggest trading partner for the UK, the value of UK goods exported to the EU fell by 45% between December ‘20 and January ‘21.

GFS has partnered with SimplyVAT to debunk some of the biggest myths and misconceptions that are standing in the way of qualified businesses rebooting sales with the EU and widening their market share.

IOSS: 5 Myths on Post-Brexit Trade with the EU

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Myth #1

Post-Brexit Trade with EU countries is Complicated

The Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) was launched in July 2021 to simplify online selling for eCommerce businesses shipping to the EU, but many businesses who qualify for this service are still hesitant to reconnect their trade ties. VAT collection and reporting for sales to all 27 EU countries can be simplified by registering in just one EU member state, sparing you the pressure of creating multiple VAT declarations for each country.

Myth #2

IOSS makes Cross-Border Selling Expensive

On the contrary, for any business sending parcels to the EU, IOSS is the most cost-effective approach to send parcels, as it takes away the hassle and cost of paying differing fees per parcel based on the handling fee of the receiving country, value, and nature of each item. ‍It also eliminates any ‘surprise costs’ as customers have visibility on exactly how much they are being charged including VAT.

IOSS (Import One Stop Shop) FAQ’s

Your IOSS Questions Answered

Myth #3

Border Clearance is a Hassle Post-Brexit

Once your business is IOSS registered, custom declarations and cross-border shipping can be made paperless, which makes it less prone to errors and unexpected customs charges, delivering your goods across to customers faster across all EU member states.

Myth #4

Your Business has to deal with an Increased Workload

Under the new rules, an IOSS intermediary is normally required for non-EU businesses. This intermediary is accountable to sort out your IOSS registration and submit your returns. Also getting a delivery partner onboard to handle cross-border shipping means you can focus purely on internal operations and selling, leaving the rest with the intermediary partners.

IOSS Shipping Solutions

IOSS-ready services in just 3 simple options 

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Intra-EU Shipping

Multi-carrier delivery and fulfilment from the EU

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Myth #5

Handling VAT = Headache

After charging the due VAT on checkout at the point of sale, businesses using IOSS will be able to ship the goods VAT-exempt into the EU. As VAT would have already been collected at the point of sale by the seller, the parcel will be customs-cleared without VAT being due upon importation. A monthly IOSS return and VAT payment will be due to remit the VAT collected from EU consumers.

Quick Understanding of IOSS

Expanding your eCommerce business to the EU can be done in a simple, cost-effective, and fuss-free way — you just need to understand how.
Next Steps to Reach Customers in the EU with IOSS

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2022-05-17T09:13:28+00:00April 14th, 2022|

How to find the right eCommerce Fulfilment Company for Small Businesses

How to find the right eCommerce Fulfilment Company for Small Businesses

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As a small business deciding what fulfilment service to partner with, you need to consider who is going to work with you to build a strong, lasting partnership. The eCommerce fulfilment company you choose will play a vital part in the standard of service you offer your customers — and this is what you need to keep in mind when researching the right fit for your business.

With online purchases increasing consistently over the past 20 years, there is no surprise that within the last year almost 80% of people in Europe have made at least one online purchase every month. [1]

So, what are the main things you need to look out for as a small business trying to find your perfect eCommerce fulfilment match? Well, according to the European ECommerce Report 2019, you need to focus on what’s important to your consumer: speed of delivery, trust in receiving and returning items, customer complaint management, and payment security. [2] Although we agree that these are very important factors to look out for, there are a few more we think you should consider… 5 more in fact.

Elements your fulfilment service should have

Let’s start with some key points already mentioned above:

  1. Speed of delivery: it is important to choose a fulfilment company that can meet the demands of your customers when it comes to quick deliveries. If not, you could miss out on sales from the 53% of buyers who abandon their online purchases because of slow delivery times [3].
  2. Trust and Transparency: building trust with your audience is vital to encouraging sales and repeat purchases. When choosing your fulfilment partner, we recommend looking at whether they offer delivery and returns tracking and extra data security steps so that your customers feel safe and have transparency when ordering from your eCommerce site.
  3. Customer support: to achieve a loyal customer base you need to offer great customer service, and this can be done by picking the right fulfilment partner to support you. An eCommerce fulfilment company that is well-organised, efficient, and holds industry expertise will keep your customers happy with frequent shipping updates, on-time deliveries, and more!

Some additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Location of warehouses: warehouse locations are important to consider when deciding on your eCommerce fulfilment company if you want to achieve speedy, efficient deliveries. The closer your warehouses are to your customer, the quicker they will receive their parcel/s and at a lower shipping cost.
  • Packaging options: this is very important to ensure the safety of your items when in transit as there is nothing worse than your customers receiving a damaged item! Your eCommerce fulfilment partner needs to not only have the right packaging options but also needs the right expertise to know what will or won’t work for your product.

We helped SLA increase SKU’s by 900%

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  • Flexibility and Growth: in this ever-changing world, you need an eCommerce fulfilment company that has the ability to be dynamic to keep up with new demands and trends, along with the resources and infrastructure to support your growth.
  • Software: we previously mentioned the importance of tracking shipments, which can only be done if your eCommerce fulfilment company has the right software. In addition, technology gives you the ability to work efficiently by managing inventory, automating processes, and giving all stakeholders access to real-time data, eliminating manual errors.
  • Delivery options: it’s no secret that consumers love options that are most convenient for them. That’s why your eCommerce fulfilment company needs to offer choice that is right for your business and your customers — from click and collect and parcel lockers, to next day delivery.

GFS Fulfilment Services

We know that was a lot of information to take in, but don’t worry this next part is simple!

GFS Fulfilment can help you scale up your small business shipping and reach next-level growth — with 99.97% picking accuracy and a 24/7 customer portal, we are certain we are the right partner for you.

Everything you need to know about eCommerce Fulfilment

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picking accuracy


delivery options


stock visibility

ISO 9001


View our eCommerce Fulfilment Services or get in touch with a member of the GFS team today to discuss your options:

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2022-05-17T09:14:54+00:00April 13th, 2022|

Managing the Omni-channel Customer Experience

Managing the Omni-channel Customer Experience

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To stay competitive in this ever-changing market, it is important to have a strong presence — you need to get your business in front of potential customers to be seen. Having multiple channels where you can establish a connection between your brand and audience works as an effective way to increase conversions because the more touchpoints a customer experiences, the more they get to know your brand and a relationship can form.

What exactly is an Omni-channel customer experience?

Providing an omni-channel customer experience requires your business to function across multiple channels whilst still maintaining the same goal and working together as a whole. These channels can include both online and offline, for example social media and chatbots, as well as physical stores.

An omni-channel approach creates a seamless customer journey that allows your customers to interact and engage with your brand at every touchpoint, giving them the power of choice and allowing them to move freely from one channel to another.

The benefits of the omni-channel approach

While we know that this approach helps convert an interested audience into a paying customer, but did you know that omni-channel consumers spend around 4% more in stores and 10% more online than single-channel customers? Plus, for every additional channel, the consumption percentage increases further! [1]

Important Orders from all Sales Channels 

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Here are 5 ways this is achieved:

  1. Personalised experience: customers can connect with your brand in real-time wherever they are, through online chatbots and social media, allowing them to gain a tailored experience that answers their personal needs and demands.
  2. Data collection: having a presence on multiple channels means that your business will have access to insights that inform you on your audience’s behaviour, demographics, and more. This valuable data allows you to better understand your customer and their needs so that you can provide the best service possible.
  3. Increased visibility: your entire audience will never be in one place. So by offering a number of different channels you can increase your reach and attract a wider number of customers.
  4. Customer convenience: in this dynamic world your customers value convenience, and by offering several integrated channels that give them direct access to your brand this can be achieved.
  5. Loyalty: high customer retention usually demonstrates that your business is doing something right, and with so many similar products on the market, it usually has to do with the experience you provide. Offering a seamless omni-channel approach enables you to create stress-free customer service that is easily accessible and personalised to their needs.

Is eCommerce delivery part of the omni-channel experience?

Of course it is! Delivery continues have increased weightage in a customer’s purchase journey with the convenience of accessing their purchase at a time and point most convenient to them, in a safe and efficient style.

Multi-carrier parcel management made simple 

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GFS Multi-Carrier Shipping

GFS can help you consolidate your multi-carrier shipping into a consistent experience your customers are happy from the beginning of the sales funnel to the very end.

GFS Channel Connector imports orders from all your sales channels to create a single flow of order traffic through a single despatch platform, GFS Selector.

Business Benefits

What does that mean for you?

  • Streamline multi-channel despatch to simplify order fulfilment

  • Boost warehouse efficiencies for faster order processing

  • Create a consistent customer experience and increase customer satisfaction

  • Easily add new sales channels to enable sales growth

Want to know more about multi-carrier shipping?

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2022-05-17T09:15:01+00:00April 13th, 2022|

Last Mile Delivery for 3PL’s: The Challenges and Solutions

Last Mile Delivery for 3PL’s: The Challenges and Solutions

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eCommerce has seen huge growth over the past two years due to the dependency on deliveries since the COVID-19 pandemic. And it doesn’t look like things will be slowing down any time soon. Many companies have begun relying on third-party logistics services (3PL) to help them with the increasing demand and rising customer expectations associated with last-mile delivery. It is predicted that by 2026 the 3PL market will reach around $1.75 trillion [1].

Last mile delivery, or final mile delivery as some call it, covers everything from when your goods leave the warehouse up until they are at their final destination.

So, why would a 3PL need support from a last mile logistics specialist?

Keeping up with the needs of your customers can be very challenging, given the constant technological advances, operational complexities, unpredictability due to external factors, and any extra costs that may arise due to changes in the economic, political or social climate.

Let’s look at some of the challenges in more detail:

1. Changes in customer behaviour and expectation

Delivery expectations have changed a lot over the years, and waiting 3-5 working days for a parcel isn’t always acceptable for the modern consumer. Free and fast shipping is what most expect, with some customers even demanding same-day delivery, which is why almost 80% people shop with Amazon [2]. Any changes to delivery dates can also cause 62% of consumers to never shop with a retailer again, and this figure goes up to 68% during peak holiday shopping seasons! [3]

More recently, customer have expectations on how a business is working to minimise their impact on the environment. Therefore, planning all delivery routes to ensure shorter delivery times with lower carbon emissions is vital throughout the final mile. Customers need clear visibility on this at the time of purchase checkout to see low-carbon options.

2. Technology advances

Technology plays a huge role in increasing overall business efficiency, it can sometimes require lots of changes, overheads, and complex integrations to get to the benefits. For example, cost is a huge factor to consider, the time and resources needed to train staff, and any upgrades or updates that are needed. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that almost half of all delivery companies are still using outdated technology.

3. Transparency and tracking

Along with the rise of customer expectations for delivery times, customers also want to know where their parcels are at any given time. This level of transparency helps to keep consumers updated on their shipping status and ETA in real-time, avoiding the need to send emails or spend time on the phone to call centres if there have been any disruptions.

4. Unpredictability

Unfortunately, many elements that can disrupt a package being delivered cannot be avoided no matter how much planning is in place. However, deciding on the most logical routes and having efficient backup routes in place can help minimise any customer dissatisfaction and ensure that costs remain within budget.

5. Rising costs

With the increase in customer demands, inflation, rising fuel costs, and other factors, final mile delivery is becoming costlier and dearer. It’s estimated that around 53% of the total shipping cost comes for the last mile alone!

Is there a solution?

GFS’ Last Mile Delivery

  • Shipping management software that unlocks delivery options and new markets for a streamlined and unified delivery process.
  • First-class customer experience with the GFS Customer Care and Operations team who pro-actively monitor and track every individual parcel.
  • More parcels and more business. Access to hundreds of different carrier services through one single relationship and one simple technology integration, regardless of the service or country of origin.
  • Latest technology suite with single integration into your operations.
  • Access to a global network and lane-specific experts.

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2022-05-17T09:15:09+00:00March 23rd, 2022|

How to Prevent Product Damage in Transit Through the Supply Chain

How to Prevent Product Damage in Transit Through the Supply Chain 

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It is predicted that by the end of 2022, online sales will reach a total of $5.42 trillion[1]. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as we have seen eCommerce rise year on year due to the convenience and efficiency it brings to customers.

However, your customers are spoilt for choice when shopping online, meaning your business needs to be offering not just high-quality products, but a great service from the first to the final mile.

When opening their parcel, it is key that customers find their delivered items unaffected and in top condition. In addition, appropriate eCommerce packaging and care throughout the supply chain will also help your business avoid returns, reduce costs, and avoid rework.

 Here are some top tips to prevent product damage in transit through the supply chain:

1. Starting with packaging

This is arguably the most important element for protecting your goods whilst in transit. The effort you make in packaging your product needs to be consistent throughout the supply chain, not just during final mile delivery. This means covering 4 essential components:

  • Correct box size: Avoid packaging that is too big or too constricted. Ensuring the box is just the right size for the volume of the item keep items safe and secure.
  • Materials: What materials you choose to pad up and protect your goods is important, not only to prevent damage but for the impact it could have on the weight of the parcel and protecting high-value goods.
  • Wrapping: Taking care to wrap up your items the right way with the right materials will help to protect goods from impact in transit.
  • Packaging labels: It is important to add labels that convey the fragile or delicate status of certain items. Adding a ‘Fragile’ label to your package will ensure it is handled with extra care and consideration.

2. The right warehouse environment

Where and how your products are stored need close attention to prevent product damage before the items get shipped. What should you look out for?

  • Clutter: An uncluttered warehouse will allow staff and equipment to move freely between aisles and avoid disturbance / unnecessary movement of goods.
  • Warehouse ventilation: Adequate measures for the right amount of ventilation will help to protect goods from dampness or external weather conditions.
  • Pallet quality: Ensuring all palettes in the warehouse are in good, usable condition and secure before loading items.

3. Right handling practices

One of the main causes of product damage is lack of care at the time of handling. So what can be done to help prevent this from happening:

  • Training: All staff should be trained in the use of equipment and best handling practices. Trainings should be refreshed based on changing demands and practices.
  • Confidence: Businesses need to ensure that they are providing a good working environment for all staff. Steps to keep staff morale high will help to increase productivity, confidence, and judgement, in turn reducing product damage at handling.

4. Ensure continuous improvements

Focusing on how product handling can be improved continuously throughout the supply chain is the best way to ensure the best service to your customers and preventing the risks of product damage.

  • Instilling an ‘improvement culture’ helps your team become aware of every area of the supply chain process, therefore promoting ideas for future advancements.
  • Investing in the latest technology or integrating trusted technology services will improve operational efficiency and human resource productivity.
  • Adapting to change: Creating an environment that is open to change is vital for process improvements. This also means regular operational health checks, continuous training, and implementing industry best practices most suited for the type and scale of your business.

Why should you choose GFS for your package deliveries?

GFS is your one-stop shop for multi-carrier eCommerce delivery and returns. With our expertise and experience, we handle packages from warehouse storage to delivery and reporting so that you don’t have to worry about the parcel reaching your customer in good time and safe condition.

Business Benefits

What does this mean for you?

  • Easy, affordable access to all the multi-carrier services, tools and expertise you need to scale your business

  • Improved operational efficiency to save time and reduce costs

  • Flexibility and contingency to mitigate risk and protect your business

  • Best-in-class customer experience to boost customer acquisition and loyalty

Want to know more?

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2022-05-17T09:15:17+00:00March 23rd, 2022|

How can you reboot EU Sales to grow your business and reach more customers?

How can you reboot EU Sales to grow your business and reach more customers?

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Since Brexit, many businesses have been nervous at the prospect of selling to the EU. With all the rules around compliance, additional paperwork, and rising costs, what once was a simple process has now become a real headache for retailers. In fact, 47% UK businesses have stopped or reduced their trading with the EU since Brexit!

Are you one of those businesses? The good news is, you have plenty of options to make selling into the EU easier!

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1.IOSS – Import One Stop Shop

The EU has launched an electronic portal that provides businesses with an IOSS number for VAT registration across the 27 Member States. This unique number enables businesses to pay all VAT through a single monthly payment, making selling into the EU simple and easy.

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2.DTP – Duties & Taxes paid

The sender is responsible for paying all Duties and Taxes, meaning that your customers will not be affected by any costs. Normally, your carrier will make the payment on your behalf at customs and will later send you an invoice.

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3.DDP – Delivered Duty Paid

DDP should not be confused with DTP, although they both require payments from the sender and not the receiver. DDP demands that the sender is the importer of record. This means that they are fully responsible for ensuring the delivery follows all legal regulations. In some destination countries they will also need to be tax registered.

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4.DAP – Delivered At Place (Formerly DDU – Delivered Duty Unpaid)

Unlike DTP and DDP, DAP expects the receiver to be responsible for any Duties and Taxes. Therefore, in order for your customers to receive their parcel they will first have to pay any applicable charges.

We understand that it can be confusing to work out what path to go down, if there are any hidden clauses, which carriers offer what, and how to best benefit your business.

That’s why GFS is here to help you make sense of all the complicated jargon!

How much simpler would it be if your storage, warehousing, and fulfilment solutions were all based in the EU?

We’ve got you covered…

Introducing GFS Europe!

GFS Europe offers multi-carrier parcel management from the EU across Europe and Rest of the World.

Whether you already fulfil orders from the EU or want to move parts of your supply chain into mainland Europe, GFS can help you continue to sell within the EU hassle-free with cross-border delivery and returns services.

Want to know more?

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2022-05-17T09:15:23+00:00March 4th, 2022|

Everything You Need to Know about Green Shipping

Everything You Need to Know about Green Shipping

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What is sustainable shipping?

Sustainable shipping involves implementing sustainable practices to every part of the shipping process, from the packaging materials all the way to how returns are managed. The main aim is to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions released into the environment without having an adverse effect on quality, service, profits, or health and safety of stakeholders.

67% check a brand’s sustainability before purchasing

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Why are sustainable shipping solutions important?

Sustainable shipping solutions have so many advantages for your business, but the benefits don’t stop there! By adopting green delivery methods, you are satisfying the needs of the ever-growing eco-conscious consumer market, contributing to help save the planet, and encouraging other businesses to join the sustainable movement.

So, what are some of the main benefits of eco-friendly shipping for your business?

  • Reduce energy consumption and cut back on excessive resource usage
  • Increase business efficiency
  • Minimise waste of both resources and business operation time
  • Expand profit margins
  • Attract new eco-conscious consumers and build a loyal customer base
  • Ensures consistent high-quality products that meet all standards and requirements related to social responsibility and sustainability target

Find out more about GFS Sustainable Shipping Services

Sustainable Delivery

What are the advantages for eco-friendly customers?

  • With 43% of UK consumers experiencing guilt about environmental impact when ordering online, sustainable shipping methods will help to alleviate this feeling
  • Saves time and effort when shopping online as customers won’t have to keep searching different websites until they find a sustainable brand
  • Feel connected to a brand that shares the same values as them and creates a sense of belonging to a community
  • Supporting a brand that is positively impacting the environment and therefore indirectly contributing to this

What positive impact is this all having on the planet?

  • Combats carbon emissions tied to eCommerce delivery estimated to rise 32% by 2030

  • Reduces deforestation as less trees will be needed for packaging purposes. A study by Canopy found that 3 billion trees are pulped every year to produce 241 million tons of shipping cartons.

  • Encourages the use of sustainable packaging materials, helping increase the percentage of recycled plastic packaging from the current usage of merely 14%

Easily offer more delivery options at checkout

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How can you offer green shipping?

  • Sustainable eCommerce packaging: Ensuring you are using packaging materials that can be repurposed, are biodegradable, or reusable. This includes not only an eco-friendly shipping box, but eco-friendly shipping tape and biodegradable bubble wrap
  • Offset your emissions: We know that sometimes it is hard to avoid releasing carbon into the environment, but you can invest in carbon offsetting projects making your shipping carbon neutral.
  • To avoid unnecessary transport, businesses can work to send items in bulk by working with a multi-carrier partner
  • Ensure your packaging fits the item inside
  • Set up a good in-house recycling process and ask your suppliers to do the same

What sustainable delivery services are available with GFS?

GFS’ partnership with a large network of multi carriers means you have access to the widest range of green delivery options:

  • Carbon Neutral Service on Single Shipment
  • Choose Electric Van Delivery
  • Parcel Shop Drop Off

  • Click and Collect Delivery
  • Increased Capacity Trailers

Contact us now to discuss sustainable shipping for your business

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2022-05-17T09:15:29+00:00February 21st, 2022|

Interview with Hannah Lia, Operations Director, hampers.com

Q & A

Interview with Hannah Lia, Operations Director, hampers.com

One of the largest privately-owned hamper retailers in the world, hampers.com offers an incredible range of over 350 different hampers, to customers across the UK, Europe and Worldwide.

In a conscious effort to become a sustainable business, hampers.com is now a certified carbon neutral organisation. In an interview with Hannah Lia, operations director – hampers.com, we spoke about their first steps towards this transition, key benefits of introducing sustainable delivery, and why more organisations need to focus on green goals.

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What are the key changes and benefits your business has seen from introducing green delivery?

We are certified as a carbon neutral organisation and are committed to implementing sustainability in every aspect of our business. In addition to this we are looking to continue to reduce our carbon footprint, by looking at sustainable delivery options. The GFS logistics team consolidates multiple orders/hampers into one shipment enabling us to manage volumes, reduce first mile emissions and offer a wide range of final mile options at checkout to our customers.

Did you experience operational challenges while considering sustainable delivery options?

Green delivery services are scattered – most carriers don’t offer all the services our business requires. For instance, there are certain postcodes where the coverage is quite limited. GFS brought together all the relevant options for our business needs from multiple carriers and consolidated them, cutting out much hassle and legwork for us.

We’ve just laid the foundation now and stay committed to further any more sustainable options that will arise over the years. As sustainable delivery infrastructure evolves, we know we’ll have access to a comprehensive range of solutions under one umbrella with GFS.

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It’s commonly believed that digital buyers prefer fast or next-day delivery. Does green delivery mean slower delivery?

It’s a myth that green delivery equals slower delivery – use of electric fleet with zero emissions, collection points at parcel shops and other green options by GFS’ multi-carrier service means we’re delivering at expected speed and at the same time reducing carbon emissions.

Where customers are concerned, we’ve also seen research showing consumer buying behaviour increasingly moving away from the ‘fast’ mindset. Studies have also shown 62% of consumers are willing to opt for green alternatives to home delivery if they have visibility from the seller of reduced carbon emissions.

At hampers.com, we care passionately about being sustainable and being a business for positive change. A key area for us in our sustainability journey is reducing our carbon footprint, and an important part of this process is introducing sustainable shipping. When we spoke with our GFS Account Manager about our green goals, they put together the right mix of shipping services aligned with our objective so we could initiate our steps towards sustainable delivery.

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In that case, do you think the customer demand for more final mile green delivery options might increase?

Absolutely – having green options at checkout is increasingly becoming important to consumer purchase decisions. Thankfully, GFS has given us access to the widest range of sustainable delivery solutions that’ll help us stay ahead of the curve.

Apart from delivery, are you adopting other best practices to move towards green eCommerce?

Offsetting our carbon footprint is the first step towards our larger goal to secure a B Corp accreditation to demonstrate our commitment to the planet, our people, and the larger community. We are in constant pursuance of measuring our social and environmental impact as a business.

What would be your advice to businesses who are keen but hesitant to introduce sustainability to their business?

It’s best to lay the foundation blocks now – be proactive in taking the steps to do what’s right, rather than reactive to policies or laws. Taking the first step is important, and there are operationally efficient and cost-effective options to build a successful, sustainable business.

Over time, we are looking at growing our commitment and GFS has truly been the one-stop shop to access all the green delivery options available today. And that’s what we love about working with GFS – the power of choice with multiple carriers so we can continue moving forward on our wider green goals.

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Climate Action Now: The Urgency of eCommerce Businesses ‘Going Green’

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2022-05-17T09:15:38+00:00February 10th, 2022|
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