In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, the role of logistics has never been more crucial.
That’s why we compiled this e-book as a fully comprehensive guide to understanding the pivotal role that logistics plays in the success of e-commerce businesses. Whether you’re a small startup or a medium-sized enterprise, the challenges of the industry are numerous. But fear not, for this e-book will show you how to navigate these challenges and how to thrive with the support of your professional logistics partner.

The following guide will explain the critical role of logistics in e-commerce, break down the challenges faced by small and medium-sized e-commerce companies, outline ways to deal with them, and show you how to choose the best logistics partners. 

Enjoy your reading!

In today’s rapidly evolving global marketplace, the role of technology cannot be overstated, and the freight forwarding industry in the United Kingdom is no exception. With the increasing complexity of supply chains and the demand for faster, more efficient transportation of goods, technology is playing a pivotal role in modernising the freight forwarding sector.

Predictions for the Future

As we move further into the 21st century, several key predictions point to significant changes in the freight forwarding industry in the UK.

Automation and AI Integration
Automation and artificial intelligence will play a central role in streamlining operations. Predictive analytics, machine learning, and robotic process automation will help freight forwarders make more informed decisions and reduce human error. 

Enhanced Visibility
Real-time tracking and visibility of shipments will become the norm. Blockchain and IoT (Internet of Things) technology will be used to create an end-to-end digital trail, enabling stakeholders to monitor the location and status of cargo throughout the supply chain. 

Eco-Friendly Initiatives
The freight industry is under increasing pressure to reduce its environmental footprint. Green technology and innovations, such as electric and autonomous vehicles, will become more prevalent as the industry works towards sustainable logistics solutions. 

Customer-Centric Approach
Freight forwarders will focus on delivering an improved customer experience through user-friendly platforms and digital tools. This shift will necessitate a more personalised and agile approach to meet the diverse needs of clients. 

Collaborative Ecosystems
Industry players will increasingly work together to create interconnected ecosystems. This collaboration can streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance the overall efficiency of the freight forwarding process. 

Addressing Pain Points in Freight Forwarding

The UK freight forwarding industry faces several pain points, many of which technology can effectively address.

Complex Documentation
Freight forwarding involves a multitude of documents and paperwork, making it a highly administrative process. Automation and digitalisation can significantly reduce the time and effort required for document management. By implementing document management systems it can simplify and expedite the documentation process.

Inefficient Communication
The reliance on traditional communication methods can lead to delays and miscommunication. Technology offers more efficient and real-time communication channels, improving collaboration among stakeholders. Implementing modern communication tools can ensure seamless communication with clients and partners.

Inaccurate Tracking
Without advanced tracking and visibility solutions, it’s challenging to provide customers with accurate information on their shipments. Modern technology can enable precise tracking, reducing uncertainty and improving customer satisfaction. Access to cutting-edge tracking technology ensures that clients have real-time access to the location and status of their shipments.

Risk Management
Freight forwarding is fraught with potential risks, from weather-related delays to geopolitical issues. Advanced analytics and predictive tools can help freight forwarders better anticipate and manage these risks. Conducting risk assessment and mitigation strategies can proactively address potential disruptions.

Lack of Transparency
The lack of transparency in the supply chain can lead to disputes and inefficiencies. Technologies like blockchain can create a transparent and immutable record of all transactions, increasing trust and accountability. The implementation of blockchain technology can enhance transparency and accountability in its operations.

Benefits of Modernisation with Ziegler

The adoption of technology in freight forwarding promises numerous benefits to the industry, its stakeholders, and the wider economy, with Ziegler leading the way:

Ziegler’s modernisation methods, including automation and digitalisation, streamline processes which reduce manual effort and enhance overall efficiency. Tasks that once took days can now be completed in hours, benefiting both us and our clients. By automating routine tasks and eliminating paperwork, we are able to significantly reduce our operational costs. Moreover, better data analytics enable us to optimise routes and reduce fuel consumption, further driving down expenses. Enhanced visibility and communication tools enable us to provide real-time information to our clients. This not only builds trust but also allows us to proactively address issues and concerns, resulting in higher satisfaction amongst our customers. Technology-driven predictive analytics and risk management tools allow us to identify potential issues and take preventive measures, reducing the chances of costly disruptions and disputes. We’re also heavily committed to environmental responsibility through investment in eco-friendly technologies such as electric vehicles and sustainable shipping practices, contributing towards a more sustainable and eco-conscious industry. 


Our modernisation methods leverage the wealth of data generated to provide valuable insights for making more informed decisions, optimizing operations, and identifying opportunities for growth. A collaborative approach, which forms a critical part of their modernisation strategy, ensures better coordination and communication among various stakeholders in the supply chain, resulting in a smoother, more efficient movement of goods. Our early adoption of technology and modernisation methods positions us as industry leaders, offering superior services, faster delivery times, and more competitive pricing, attracting a larger client base. The future of UK freight forwarding is intricately tied to modernisation through technology. As the industry continues to evolve, Ziegler are not only embracing technology but leading the way in shaping the industry’s future. The adoption of technology addresses pain points, provides numerous benefits, and positions us for success in the dynamic world of global logistics. Modernisation is not just an option, it is a necessity.

Groupage transport, simply known as groupage, defines a special type of transport consisting in grouping together goods dispatched by several different companies into a same load. In international trade, the abbreviation LTT (Less Than Truckload) is frequently used, referring to groupage transport. “Consolidation” is another term used.

In practice, groupage transport comes into play when a company wishing to dispatch goods does not have a large enough volume to fill a truck, container, etc. For those companies, transporters specialised in groupage can offer to share any space remaining in their truck between several senders.

For companies resorting to this type of transport to dispatch their goods, groupage offers several advantages. It enables them to save money on transport. By opting for groupage transport, the company shares all transport costs with the other senders. It no longer has to pay all the delivery fees, as its merchandise only occupies part of the space available in the truck. Groupage offers companies an easier option for sending their merchandise to different destinations, without having to worry about the volume of goods dedicated to each destination. Groupage transport improves service quality for companies, as they benefit from numerous services via their providers (such as a wider variety of itineraries).

This being said, groupage transport requires more flexibility from senders regarding the products’ loading and delivery times. The transporter must first run a pick-up route to collect all the goods before delivering them all, whereas full-truck transport would simply consist in shipping one type of merchandise from a point A to a point B.

In the world of product shipment, groupage positions itself halfway between standard delivery services (a solution often too expensive or poorly-suited to the dispatched goods’ features) and more standard full truck load transport.


Specificities of groupage transport

Groupage transport is particularly recommended for dispatching goods when:

  • The volume of goods to dispatch is not big enough to fill a full truck load;
  • Dispatch deadlines are not a key criterion (groupage delivery is considerably longer than standard delivery, as it requires several deliveries to be grouped together);
  • The dispatched goods are aimed for delivery in different countries;
  • The goods dispatched can easily be combined onto one or several pallets.

Examples and practical applications

A company specialised in the manufacture of carpet rugs wishes to export its production to several countries. It can thus choose between several transport options – that are more or less expensive. To avoid major transport expenses, the company’s best option would be not to pay transport “for nothing” (with part of the load empty). When the volume it wishes to send out is smaller than the total loading volume available in a means of transport, it can turn to groupage.

To do so, the company must follow several set stages:

  • Searching for and selecting a provider specialised in groupage transport;
  • Communicating the features of the goods to be shipped (type of product, weight, volume, etc.);
  • Communicating the location of loading and unloading sites.

As for the transporter, it will make sure to group together shipments to joint destinations, whilst optimizing the space available in the truck. It will then provide the company in question with the goods’ loading and delivery dates.


Other applications offered – ETSF

An ETSF is an external temporary storage facility. ETSF’s are often located further inland away from the port or frontier.  RoRo (Roll-on Roll-off) or groupage traffic can exit the port quickly and the customs declarations can be conducted at the ETSF avoiding unnecessary delays.

When off loading an ETSF trailer it is placed 3ft from the bay where full trailer and seal checks are performed.  If the load after the GMR check places the trailer on ‘Customs Hold’ our onsite Customs are informed of this update.  The warehouse will wait until customs confirm it is ok to proceed with unloading the trailer.

The trailer/ goods are treated with the same process as above but difference on these labels are will be a UCN number on the label which will be unique solely to that pallet.  There can never be a non-labelled pallet in the ETSF area as this breaks customs rule. 

In some instances there can be a short break where a pallet(s) will be placed in the stow unlabelled due to the quantity of that stock on the trailer. For example, if a stock line has 500 cartons on the loads it would produce 500 labels.  The operator will therefore wait for the warehouse to advise how many pallets the 500 cartons we’re placed on and then complete the labels accordingly.  All of these labels will have the same UCN number.

Once the warehouse completed the emptying of the trailer, all checked and labelled.  Goods are placed into a stow in the ETSF area and recorded.

Why would operators choose to use an ETSF?

Many operators are choosing to move clearances away from the border to their own inland facilities – an ETSF (external temporary storage facility). The approval process for these sites requires an Inventory System to be in place. The Pentant ETSF system is uniquely truck-based, and a good fit for these operators.

Selecting the appropriate maritime freight forwarder holds immense significance for businesses engaged in global operations. Managing the seamless import and export of commodities through sea routes entails intricacies, underscoring the significance of evaluating various aspects while opting for the most suitable forwarder for your enterprise.

  • What is the role of a freight forwarder?
  • What type of forwarder should you choose?
  • How to identify a good maritime service provider?
  • What services should they offer?

Discover comprehensive insights on these and related topics in our e-book.

In the heart of one of the most influential logistic hubs in The Netherlands lies Venlo, a city strategically positioned on the Dutch-German border. Boasting a prime location merely 150 kilometres away from the bustling ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, and in close proximity to the industrial powerhouse of the German Ruhr Area, Venlo is a logistical gem. At the epicentre of this dynamic setting, Ziegler Nederlands stands tall, offering state-of-the-art warehousing facilities that epitomise modern logistics.

Strategic Location for Unrivalled Connectivity

Nestled at the crossroads of the A73 and A67 motorways, Ziegler Nederlands warehouses enjoy unparalleled connectivity. These major motorways not only provide seamless access to key European cities but also facilitate the swift movement of goods within the continent. Further enhancing its logistical process, the facilities are well-linked to train and barge terminals, harnessing multiple modes of transportation for efficient cargo handling.


Warehousing Excellence

Ziegler Nederlands warehouses are far from ordinary; they are equipped with cutting-edge technology and designed to accommodate a diverse range of cargo. Whether your valuable merchandise requires storage within the European Union or under customs bond, these facilities provide a secure and adaptable environment. 


A Legacy of Excellence: Ziegler Group

As a proud member of the Ziegler Group, a 100% family-owned entity with a heritage dating back to 1908, Ziegler Nederlands exemplifies decades of logistics expertise. From air and ocean freight solutions that span the world to an expansive Pan-European road freight and parcel network, Ziegler Group is synonymous with seamless global connectivity.


Beyond Logistics: Comprehensive Services

Ziegler Nederlands offers more than just logistical solutions; it provides a holistic partnership to help your business flourish. The array of services includes unique customs solutions encompassing consultancy, clearance, and fiscal representation. This ensures that the complexities of customs regulations are navigated with precision, facilitating the smooth movement of your goods. In addition, the Picking & Packing and Value Added Services elevate your logistics experience, adding value to every step of the supply chain.


Empowering Your Growth

Ziegler isn’t merely a logistics provider; it’s your growth partner. With a commitment to excellence that spans generations and a suite of services designed to meet every logistical challenge, Ziegler empowers businesses to reach new heights. By embracing innovation, embracing technology, and leveraging a strategic location, Ziegler stands ready to amplify your success.


Connect with Ziegler Nederlands

To explore our services and embark on a journey of logistics excellence, reach out to us using the form below. 



Low Emission Zones (LEZs) were created as a policy response to address the issue of air pollution and reduce emissions from vehicles in urban areas. These zones are geographic areas where certain vehicles that produce high levels of pollutants are either restricted or charged a fee to enter. The goal is to encourage the use of cleaner vehicles and improve air quality in densely populated regions.

The first official Low Emission Zone was introduced in London, in 2008. After London’s success, other European cities followed suit. Each city set its own criteria for restricted vehicles, emission standards, and charging schemes. Over time the concept of Low Emission Zones has expanded beyond Europe and the emission standards and criteria for vehicles allowed in these zones have become stricter.

In response to these progressive measures and other environmental challenges, Ziegler Group swiftly implemented various initiatives and studies. Their goal was to not only comply with the evolving regulations but also to proactively develop customised, flexible solutions for their clients, making their supply chains resilient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly.


The Challenge of Embracing Green Transportation 

Amid the growing awareness of environmental concerns and the introduction of regulatory frameworks, the transportation industry faces significant hurdles in transitioning to greener practices. As cities implement traffic limits and low-emission zones, logistics companies like Ziegler must find innovative ways to adapt their operations while meeting the unique requirements of each client.


Ziegler is Pioneering Solutions for Sustainable Logistics 


Customised Green Fleet Initiatives  

Ziegler Group understands the critical role of our vehicle fleet in achieving sustainable logistics. To align with the environmental regulations, we embarked on an ambitious “greening” project. Currently, 93% of Ziegler’s heavy vehicle fleet complies with Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission standards, significantly reducing our carbon footprint.

Ziegler also actively participates in the research for using of heavy electric vehicles, exploring alternative fuel options like B100, HVO, and XTL. This commitment ensures that our fleet continues to evolve towards greater sustainability.


Innovative Last-Mile Delivery Options  

Recognizing that last-mile delivery contributes significantly to emissions, Ziegler introduced two cutting-edge solutions. “Cargo Bike by Ziegler” presents a unique approach to package and pallet delivery, utilising bicycles with covered trailers to navigate narrow and restricted city streets while emitting zero CO2.


Additionally, Ziegler is spearheading the development of autonomous, electric delivery vehicles. This self-driving and cabinless vehicle has the potential to revolutionise last-mile delivery, providing efficient and eco-friendly alternatives for urban areas.




Smart Technology for Environmental Compliance  

To achieve greater environmental compliance, Ziegler leverages smart technology solutions. Automated delivery route optimization systems employ advanced algorithms to minimise delivery distances and maximise the number of customers served per vehicle, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.


Advancing Multimodal Transportation  

Ziegler actively integrates multimodal transportation as a greener approach to meet the evolving demands of metropolitan areas. Emphasising eco-friendly options like train-based logistics or inland waterway freight, we strive to create more sustainable supply chain solutions.


Ziegler Group’s Unique and Flexible Approach 

Ziegler Group stands out by delivering tailored solutions to address each client’s unique requirements. Our proactive response to the environmental challenges ensures that we not only comply with regulations but also help our clients thrive in a greener landscape. By stabilising supply chains, reducing costs, and fostering resilience, Ziegler enables our clients to embrace a sustainable future with confidence.

With the rise of omnichannel shopping, last mile delivery has become more complex and important. It’s not just about delivering products from a warehouse to a home or business anymore. Supply chains have to move in new directions and be agile enough to adapt quickly to different delivery methods.

Last mile deliveries are:

Crucial: Although this is the final stage of product delivery, and after the goods have already undergone a long and multi-stage process, last mile delivery is the point that is most crucial for customer satisfaction. It is at this stage that the customer is most affected by the transport process.

Complicated: It is also the most complicated stage, as the final leg of shipment typically involves multiple stops with low drop sizes.

Expensive: It’s also the most expensive stage. As a share of the total cost of shipping, last mile delivery costs are substantial  comprising 53% overall.

Problematic: Last-mile deliveries are also the biggest source of urban pollution, noise and congestion. For example, in Brussels alone around 16,000 trucks and 26,000 vans enter the city centre every day. 


Supply chain professionals are under pressure due to high customer expectations, cost management, environmental concerns, port congestion, inflation, and restrictions in urban areas. Additionally, challenges arising from the recent pandemic, geopolitical tensions, social conflicts, and labour shortages exacerbate these constraints.

We know the challenges of last mile deliveries very well! That’s why we’ve prepared this guide providing insights into new market trends and solutions to help brands navigate these challenges and efficiently ship products worldwide.


It’s not a secret that transportation is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Almost everything we consume or use had to be delivered to us. 80% of all the stuff we buy and sell around the world gets shipped by sea, that’s why sea transport, in particular, has a big role to play in reducing emissions.  

But the good news is that we can make a difference. And it’s not just up to the carriers – it’s up to all of us as consumers too. We need to start thinking about the environmental impact of the products we buy and demand that companies do the same.

Companies that take the environment seriously will be more competitive in the long run and we’re proud to be part of this process and help our clients navigate through it.

Based on our 60 years of experience and expertise in sea freight management we’ve put together an e-book to help you navigate through this ever-changing and sometimes challenging environmental revolution. 

Get ready to join us on this thrilling journey!



The rise of autonomous electric vehicles (AEVs) has sparked considerable excitement and speculation about their potential to revolutionise the transportation industry. These vehicles, which combine electric power with self-driving technology, have already made significant strides in countries across the European Union (EU). However, their introduction in the United Kingdom (UK) for last mile delivery remains a topic of debate. Here, we will delve into the reasons behind the delay in their rollout, explore when we might see AEVs on UK roads, and discuss the potential impact they could have on last mile freight transportation.

One of the primary reasons AEVs have not yet been rolled out in the UK, despite their presence in the EU, is the regulatory landscape. The EU has been proactive in developing regulations to facilitate the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. In contrast, the UK has taken a more cautious approach, placing greater emphasis on safety and public acceptance. The UK government has established strict guidelines and regulatory frameworks that AEV manufacturers must navigate before their vehicles can be tested or deployed on public roads. These regulations are in place to ensure that autonomous vehicles meet rigorous safety standards, address liability concerns, and protect the public from potential risks associated with self-driving technology.

Furthermore, there are practical considerations that have hindered the widespread adoption of AEVs in the UK. The complexity of urban environments and the diverse nature of road infrastructure pose challenges for autonomous vehicle navigation. Narrow streets, complex junctions, and crowded city centres require sophisticated sensors and algorithms to ensure safe and efficient operation. The development and refinement of such technology require extensive testing and validation in real-world scenarios, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

Despite these obstacles, the UK is making progress in preparing for the introduction of AEVs. The government has launched several initiatives to promote research and development in autonomous vehicle technology. Testbeds and real-world trials are being conducted in cities like London, Coventry, and Milton Keynes, allowing manufacturers and researchers to gather valuable data and insights. These initiatives aim to foster innovation, improve infrastructure, and develop the necessary regulatory framework to ensure the safe integration of AEVs into the transportation system.

While it is challenging to predict an exact timeline for the introduction of AEVs in the UK for last mile delivery, experts anticipate that we could see significant progress in the next five to ten years. The advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and sensor technology are accelerating the development of self-driving capabilities. As manufacturers continue to refine their autonomous systems and gain experience from trials and real-world deployments, the likelihood of AEVs becoming a common sight on UK roads increases. In response, Ziegler UK are poised for the expanded introduction of AEVs within the Ziegler Group through our ‘Now Even Greener’ initiative. Partnering with US-based manufacturer Udelv, the autonomous delivery pilot project is already underway through our head-quarters in Brussels.

The impact of AEVs on last mile freight transportation could be transformative. The last mile, which refers to the final leg of the delivery process from a distribution centre to the customer’s doorstep, is often the most expensive and logistically challenging part of the supply chain. AEVs have the potential to address many of the issues associated with traditional delivery methods. They can operate around the clock, reducing delivery times and improving efficiency. Additionally, AEVs offer significant environmental benefits, as they are electric-powered, emitting zero tailpipe emissions, and contributing to the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The introduction of AEVs for last mile delivery can also lead to cost savings for businesses. The elimination of human drivers reduces labour costs, and the increased efficiency of autonomous routing and dispatching systems can optimise delivery routes, saving time and fuel expenses. Furthermore, the implementation of AEVs could help alleviate some of the challenges faced by the logistics industry, such as driver shortages and the increasing demand for fast and reliable deliveries.

As Ziegler inevitably expands its fleet of AEVs and we refine our capabilities, we are driving forward a new paradigm in last mile deliveries. The convergence of autonomous technology and electric propulsion holds the potential to transform the logistics industry, improving operational efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and enhancing customer satisfaction. Our commitment to embracing these advancements places us at the forefront of this transformative journey, with the aim of reshaping the future of last mile deliveries.

Drones have emerged as a game-changing in technology with immense potential to revolutionise various industries. In the logistics sector, warehouses are increasingly harnessing the power of drones to streamline operations and enhance efficiency. But how are they being utilised and are they proving to be superior over human labour? Ziegler have taken flight and are currently trialling a batch of drones at their head quarters in Belgium to test their impact and see if a wider rollout through the Ziegler Group would be beneficial.


One of the primary advantages of drones in warehouse logistics is their ability to automate repetitive tasks with unmatched precision. Equipped with advanced computer vision and navigation systems, drones can effortlessly navigate warehouse environments, performing inventory checks, stock replenishment, and item tracking. Unlike human workers, drones do not experience fatigue, reducing the likelihood of errors caused by tiredness or oversight. The precision and accuracy of drone operations eliminate the need for additional quality checks and minimise error, ultimately enhancing overall efficiency.


Time efficiency is a critical aspect of logistics, and drones have the potential to revolutionise warehouse operations by significantly reducing the time required to complete tasks. Traditional inventory management methods often involve manual scanning and counting, which can be tedious and time-consuming. However, drones equipped with barcode readers or RFID scanners can swiftly scan and update inventory data, expediting the process. By automating tasks that would otherwise require human labour, warehouses can reduce operational costs associated with hiring, training, and managing personnel, all while accelerating the pace of operations.

Optimising space utilisation is another area where drones excel in logistics warehouses. With their compact size and exceptional manoeuvrability, drones can navigate tight spaces and high shelves, which may present challenges for humans. This capability enables warehouses to maximise storage capacity and organize inventory efficiently. By employing drones for tasks in vertical storage areas, warehouses can minimize the time and effort required for manual labour while simultaneously increasing the overall efficiency of the storage process.


Safety is a paramount concern in warehouse operations, and drones can help mitigate risks by assuming potentially hazardous tasks. Lifting and carrying heavy items can pose a significant risk to human workers. However, drones can transport heavy or bulky items from one location to another, reducing the risk of injuries associated with manual lifting. Additionally, drones can conduct safety inspections in high-risk areas, identifying potential hazards without endangering human lives. By minimising accidents and injuries, warehouses can foster a safer working environment while simultaneously reducing costly incidents.


Real-time monitoring and data analysis capabilities of drones further contribute to enhancing warehouse efficiency. Equipped with cameras and sensors, drones can capture and relay valuable data, such as temperature, humidity, or inventory status, in real-time. This information empowers warehouse managers to make informed decisions promptly, optimising inventory management and improving overall operational efficiency. Moreover, drones can generate comprehensive analytics reports, highlighting patterns, identifying bottlenecks, and suggesting improvements. These insights derived from drone data can lead to enhanced productivity and substantial cost savings.

As a leading player in the logistics industry, Ziegler have recognised the potential of drones in warehouses and we have begun to spearhead efforts in implementing them to test their efficiency. By deploying drones in our warehouses, we aim to optimise our operations and provide a benchmark for the industry. Through careful planning and implementation, we intend to evaluate the benefits of drone technology in enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, and improving safety within our warehouses.


Ziegler’s proactive approach showcases our commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements in logistics. By integrating drones into our operations, we anticipate greater speed and accuracy in inventory management, reduced labour costs, and enhanced safety measures. As we pave the way for this integration, our experiences and learnings will contribute to shaping best practices and industry standards.


Drones are transforming logistics warehouses by offering unparalleled precision, automation, and efficiency. Their ability to navigate warehouse environments, optimize space utilization, enhance safety, and provide real-time monitoring and data analysis makes them invaluable assets in the industry. While human labour will continue to be integral to warehouse operations, the integration of drones can augment efficiency, reduce operational costs, and enhance overall productivity. Ziegler’s pioneering efforts in implementing drones within their warehouses reflect the industry’s growing recognition of the potential benefits that drones offer. As technology advances further, the adoption of drones in logistics warehouses will only continue to rise, reshaping the future of supply chain management.