France: The Booming Economic Hub of Europe

In addition to its strong local and global network, ECU Worldwide has undergone tremendous digital transformation and established itself as a prominent player in the international logistics market.

France continues to stride towards becoming a major economic and logistics hub in Europe. Burgeoning Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the region and France positioning as the fifth largest economy in the world place it as a lucrative region for the logistics industry. With Britain at the brink of exiting the European Union (EU), France is expected to emerge as the front-runner for new business opportunities and international trade in the continent. Following Britain’s announcement of exiting EU, numerous organisations have announced shifting their operations to the country with British investment in the region alone witnessing an increase of 33% in 2018.

In line with the region further gaining economic dominance in the foreseeable future, Allcargo Logistics’ ECU Worldwide France is aggressively transforming itself and expanding its network to establish itself as an assertive player in the region.

Experiencing Exponential Growth

The logistics industry registered phenomenal growth on all fronts in France in 2018. This trend is expected to continue with a heavy inflow of foreign investments and surge in international and local trade in the region. In addition, the services sector in the region is driving economic growth in the country, contributing revenues worth 70% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

France relies heavily on its exports with the export-to-GDP ratio for the country being close to 30%. The country shipped goods worth USD 568.4 billion around the world in 2018. Meanwhile, the country’s position is poised to receive a significant boost in the European and global logistics network with Britain ready to exit the EU.

“The measures taken by the government are producing their effect and inciting companies also based in the United Kingdom to move their production to France to take into account the uncertainties related to Brexit,” explained Christophe Couillard, General Manager Paris & Le Havre Office, adding that the recent changes in the taxation system and labour laws is aiding ECU Worldwide France in further strengthening its foothold in the region.

Cashing in on Opportunities

With seven warehouses deployed across France and four regional offices in Lyon, Paris, Le Havre, and Marseille/FOS region, ECU Worldwide France has a consolidated network in the country to capitalise on the lucrative opportunities in and around Europe. Strong connectivity between the warehouses and offices, in addition to regular shuttles to ECU Worldwide Antwerp European Hub gives ECU Worldwide France a significant competitive edge among the other players in the region. Additionally, France’s unrivalled access to seas in Europe through three international ports is leveraged effectively by ECU Worldwide via its two strategically-placed hubs in the country. Explaining ECU Worldwide France’s plan of leveraging this network, Alain Viciana, General Manager Marseille & Lyon Office, stated, “We are exploring certain destinations to add to our list of extensive trade lanes to position ourselves as a key interlocutor on different continents.”

The company also offers weekly services to 100 direct trade lanes with the best transit times. ECU Worldwide France’s efficient network in the country aligns with Allcargo’s vision of offering reliable services to its clients, making the organisation an ideal partner in the region. “With our advanced technology, experienced professionals, local expertise and value-added services, we deliver end-to-end logistics services and a seamless customer experience,” said Mr. Couillard. He further added that the company is expected to record an increase of approximately 12% in the turnover in 2019, on the back of fresh monetary inputs in sales, operations, IT, and warehousing. ECU Worldwide France is uniquely placed to tackle the competition head-on in the region. “Our comprehensive knowledge of customer needs and an obsessive motivation to develop and manage the best interests of the group and consumers differentiates us from the other players operating in the country,” elucidated Mr. Viciana.

Asia, United States, and East Africa are the most important markets ECU Worldwide France services.

The Future is Digital

As competition in the logistics industry in France continues to peak, customer experience and satisfaction have emerged as a key differentiating factor to remain prevalent and profitable in the industry. ECU Worldwide continues to pioneer the industry towards the new era of customer-centricity by integrating modern day technology to enhance customer satisfaction while significantly cutting down on costs. Digitisation of the supply chain has helped ECU Worldwide introduce transparency in their system and streamline operations from end-to-end. A marquee product of ECU Worldwide’s digital transformation is the ECU 360, an online logistics booking platform to facilitate faster and better exchange of information and transport of goods, which will be shortly launched for customers.