UPS buys cross-border e-commerce shipping specialist i-parcel
UPS has boosted its cross-border e-commerce credentials with the acquisition of a US company that helps online retailers to reach foreign consumers. Massachusetts-based i-parcel helps e-commerce merchants to attract shoppers from overseas, providing localized versions of a retail website selling goods in local currencies, and it also ships the purchases to foreign consumers.
The company started up nine years ago to simplify the global e-commerce experience so that online shoppers can use British and American e-commerce websites as though they were shopping in their own country.
Once items are sold to consumers overseas, retailers ship them to one of i-parcel’s hubs in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, New Jersey or in Surrey, in the UK. i-parcel then ships the items overseas via commercial airlines, using local couriers to deliver items over the last mile.
The company’s Preferred Service offers five-to-eight business day delivery.
UPS, which did not disclose the terms of the acquisition, said the acquired firm now connects web merchants in the US and UK to more than 100 countries.
Alan Gershenhorn, the UPS executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said his company was eyeing the huge growth in cross-border e-commerce.
He said research from Pay-Pal predicted that the current $105bn market will grow to more than $300bn by 2018, with 130m shoppers buying cross-border.
“UPS continues to look ahead to the expanding worldwide demands in the ever-growing global e-commerce market,” he said.
“UPS continues to invest in capabilities that enable its e-commerce merchants to meet the growing global demand.”
UPS, the world’s biggest package delivery firm, said i-parcel chief executive Will Gensburg would be remaining with the company following the acquisition.
Gensburg said: “i-parcel has been an international bridge linking U.S. and U.K. merchants to global e-commerce consumers throughout the world and our team is excited to join with UPS to further globalize e-commerce.”