German logistics firm DPD launches same-day delivery

Thu Nov 7, 2013 7:45am EST

* Same-day delivery offers retailers a chance to compete

* eBay, Google, Wal-Mart racing to catch Amazon

* German e-commerce seen growing 12 pct in 2013

BERLIN, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Logistics firm DPD is launching a same-day delivery service in 19 German cities in cooperation with courier service Tiramizoo, a move it says could help traditional retailers compete with dedicated online dealers like Amazon.

"This service will help traditional retailers which are going into e-commerce to differentiate themselves from pure online players," Boris Winkelmann, chief operating officer of DPD Geo Post in Germany, told Reuters.

"This service allows them to generate an advantage from their store network," he added, noting a courier could deliver an order from a local store to a customer much quicker than from the kind of out-of-town warehouse used by pure online players.

Same-day delivery is one of the hottest trends in e-commerce with eBay Inc last month buying Shutl, a same-day delivery start-up from Britain.

The U.S. Postal Service and FedEx Corp have each started same-day delivery in select U.S. areas, while Wal-Mart Inc and Google Inc have also been chasing Amazon in this field.

DPD, owned by France's state postal service La Poste , is the third-biggest parcel delivery firm in Germany after former state monopoly Deutsche Post and Hermes Logistik.

DPD took a 20 percent stake in Tiramizoo in August. Tiramizoo already delivers goods for German online retailer Conrad Electronics and is being tested by Metro's Media Markt electronics chain.

Winkelmann said he expected the service to be used most for more expensive goods like electronics and high-end fashion, adding the service cost from 8.50 euros ($11.50)upwards depending on the distance and weight of the delivery.

"It might seem expensive at first sight, but we are spoilt in Germany because we are used to free delivery. But it is not free, it is just that the service providers carry the costs," he said.

Online sales of books, electronics and clothes are booming in Europe's biggest economy, with the HDE retail association predicting e-commerce will grow 12 percent this year to 33.1 billion euros or 7.6 percent of total retail sales.

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