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Ever sixth online order is returned

According to an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 29 April 2019, the Germans are returning every sixth package ordered on the Internet. This information comes from economists at Bamberg University. Last year, 280 million parcels and 487 million articles were returned. "This results in total costs estimated at 5.46 billion euros, which on the one hand are borne by customers due to higher market prices and on the other hand burden the margins of e-commerce merchants," explained Björn Asdecker of the Returns Management research group.

On average, a return shipment costs 19.51 euros, half of which for transport. Only 4 percent of the returned items ended up in the trash. But first everything has to be inspected and evaluated. A good 79 percent are sold directly as A-goods, another 13 percent as B-goods, according to the researchers. And 3 percent would be sold to industrial recyclers or donated to charitable organizations.

The withdrawal period of 28 days usually granted in the market is far longer than the legally prescribed 14 days, explained Asdecker. But the returns also burden the climate - as much as "2200 car journeys a day from Hamburg to Moscow" or 238,000 tons of CO2 last year.

According to the Federal Association BEVH, the Internet mail order business sold goods for 65.1 billion euros last year. In the current year, it expects eleven percent growth to 72 billion. The returns management research group comprises 438 retailers, logistics service providers, producers and experts.

The consortium of the CityChangerCargoBike projects believes these numbers underline the importance of new sustainable City Logistics solutions. Cargo Bikes can play a big role here!