The Top 10 countries for International Trade

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GlobeSellers in the UK are constantly being told that they should be focusing on cross border trade but the big question is which territories should you be targeting? Simon Wright, Marketing Manager of Parcelhub has provided us with some figures which give some insights as to the best countries to attack.

ParcelhubParcelhub provide discounted rates from a wide range of carriers and are suitable for sellers with as few as 10 parcels per day, although many of their customers ship hundreds or even thousands of daily packages. They offer access to a variety of carriers and have shared the “Top 10 countries for International Trade” from their combined UK customer data of millions of shipments for the period January 2014 to April 2015.

Top 10 countries for International Trade

Top 10 countries
for International Trade
1 Germany 25.6%
2 France 20.12%
3 Ireland 13.66%
4 Spain 4.1%
5 Jersey 4.01%
6 Italy 3.85%
7 Netherlands 2.89%
8 Austria 2.67%
9 Guernsey 2.62%
10 Denmark 2.18%

Unsurprisingly, the top three countries which account for almost 60% of all Parcelhub’s overseas shipments are our closest European neighbours – Germany (with 25.6% of Parcelhub’s international shipments), France (20.12%) and Ireland (13.66%). These are the three countries that sellers just can not afford to ignore.

The countries taking 4th to 6th spots are more surprising. Spain (4.1%), and Italy at (3.85%) are expected but coming in at 5th place is Jersey (4.01%). We often forget that the Channel Islands aren’t part of the UK, and many parcels to the Islands will be via Royal Mail domestic UK rates, so not included in courier statistics.

Don’t ignore the Channel Islands

For Jersey on their own to be at 4% of all overseas shipments, (and Guernsey comes in at 9th place adding another 2.62% of total overseas shipments) means that making sure you’ve specified courier rates to the Channel Islands is a must. Taking the Channel Islands as a whole, although they’re technically outside the EU, together they’re a bigger opportunity at 6.62% than either Spain or Italy, based on Parcelhub’s actual shipments.

Finishing up the 10 ten countries for exporting to are in 7th and 8th place are The Netherlands (2.89%) and Austria (2.67%), with Denmark (2.18%) coming in 10th.

Easy pickings are not always best

There are three countries missing from the 10 ten best countries for cross border trade from the UK. Surprisingly these are three of the countries which retailers often attack as top priorities – The USA who scrape in at 11th place (2.11%), Australia in thirteenth place (0.83%) and Canada 27th place (0.3%).

Common sense advice is normally to target North America and Australia first as they’re English speaking countries. That advice might be sound from ease of communicating with customers, but a little effort with translating your offers could pay dividends by attacking the top 10 countries first.

One Response

  1. Yes, a very interesting post.

    I wonder how indicative the ParcelHub figures are of all international trade from the UK. I suppose it depends on their volumes and customer segment.

    There are few surprises for me when I compare my sales by country. Ireland is a big one or is that because ParcelHub have a partner offering great rates whereas other carriers do not (reflects my experience). Also, Spain is as low as Jersey – I could look on that as an opportunity or not.

    Good info to help build the bigger picture.


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