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“Gravity” and the Packaging of B2C Cross-Border Ecommerce

In: The Changing Postal Environment


  • Tim Walsh

    (Independent Postal and Ecommerce Consultant)


World trade in physical goods increased 7.7%, from $18.1 to $19.5 trillion between 2012 and 2018. Cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce trade stands at an estimated $500 bn and grew by 224% in volume over the same period, the fastest-growing segment in world trade. The individualization of trade through ecommerce promises increased consumer welfare through greater choice, better prices, and enhanced efficiency. However, the packaging of trade in an estimated 2.87 billion annually of unique, small, lightweight, and low-value packets, arriving one-by-one, is testing inbound sorting and delivery networks and challenging extant logistic and trade rules designed for a previous, less connected age of traditional trade flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Walsh, 2020. "“Gravity” and the Packaging of B2C Cross-Border Ecommerce," Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy, in: Pier Luigi Parcu & Timothy J. Brennan & Victor Glass (ed.), The Changing Postal Environment, pages 183-195, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:topchp:978-3-030-34532-7_14
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-34532-7_14

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