Fulfillment centres are a godsend for eCommerce companies, saving you time, improving your customers’ experience, and giving you so much more freedom to scale up and down as required. But as with any partnership, you want to be working with the best in the industry.
Choosing the right fulfillment centre will heighten all those advantages and help your business run more smoothly in the long run. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend hours researching European fulfillment centres to find the best fit for you.. We’ve put together a guide to six of the top fulfillment centres in Europe to help you find your next fulfillment partner.
Top Fulfillment Centres in Europe
Founded in 2013, Autofulfil is a European fulfillment centre near Galway, Ireland. This location provides the ideal gateway to Europe for UK companies, who can minimise post-Brexit delays and customs complications. As an English-speaking fulfillment centre with a friendly Irish business culture, it’s also the perfect option for US and international companies looking to easily expand into the European eCommerce market.
With Autofulfil’s 100,000 sq ft fulfillment centre, you can choose from a comprehensive range of fulfillment services with high customisability and flexibility. By integrating with your choice of eCommerce platform, orders can be automatically received and fulfilled without any effort on your end. The warehouse management system also gives you full visibility for all your inventory, deliveries, and returns and the automated barcode scanning and verification systems ensure end-to-end order accuracy.
Due to its location on a Western European island, it can take 2-5 days for parcels to reach customers in Central and Eastern Europe, which may be slower than a local fulfillment centre in those regions can offer. However, with an order accuracy rate of 99.8% and 99.7% of orders shipped the same day, you can still rely on Autofulfil to keep your customers happy throughout the continent.
A rating of 9.1 out of 10 for likelihood to refer Autofulfil to others shows just how highly these services are rated by their existing clients. That’s paired with similarly high client ratings on Google and Trustpilot. Your business will also benefit from Autofulfil’s commitment to sustainability, including green packaging and carbon emissions offsetting for a fully carbon-neutral fulfillment service.
As a global brand, Amazon is an obvious inclusion on the list of top fulfillment centres in Europe. Their European network includes more than 70 fulfillment centres in 7 countries. Operating since 1998, they’re certainly well established – and their fulfillment centres are renowned for a high level of automation with state-of-the-art technology.With Amazon, you benefit from having a household name on your side and world-leading capacity. However, you are generally restricted to sales through the Amazon platform given the many downsides of Amazon’s multichannel fulfillment (MCF) service:
- Strict product restrictions
- High storage fees and fulfillment charges
- Slower shipping times with FBA prioritised over MCF
- Returns and international shipping not supported
- No integration with other marketplaces or eCommerce platforms
Because of this, you will only be able to sell to customers in countries served by Amazon, which is limited to Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Poland, the UK, and the Netherlands. You’re also limited in terms of customisation and flexibility, with Amazon focusing on very basic fulfillment services.
Founded in 2017, Huboo is a relatively experienced fulfillment centre based mainly in the UK. Like most other top European fulfillment centres, they integrate with your sales platform for fast, automated fulfillment. They also boast an impressive 99.9% accuracy rate for order fulfillment.
One clear difference between Huboo and other top fulfillment companies is the unique Hub Model, consisting of micro-warehouses within its facilities. Put simply, this means clients get a dedicated warehouse team, who don’t need to walk long distances to different parts of the warehouse when fulfilling orders. The result is higher efficiency, lower costs, and a better service for customers.
To date, Huboo has more than 1,200 clients and 800 staff. It has a range of UK facilities, predominantly in Bristol, though there are also fulfillment centres and offices in Germany, Spain, and Netherlands. Their primary focus, however, seems to be on the UK market.
With paperless picking, solar-powered facilities, and tree planting to offset shipping, Huboo is another sustainable option for European fulfillment. However, their site has a lack of detail about bespoke customisation options on offer.
A relative newcomer to the list is NextSmartShip, founded as recently as 2019. This global company offers a wide range of fulfillment services, including customisation like kitting, assembly, and subscription box fulfillment.With a European fulfillment centre in Germany, as well as one in the UK, they’re well placed to reach most parts of the continent. That’s paired with platform integration and a 99.9% shipping accuracy rate.While the NextSmartShip website has little information about their specific service performance metrics, such as a same-day fulfillment rate, it does appear to be easy to contact their team to discuss things in more detail.
With over 25 fulfillment centres in Europe, Byrd is a safe choice when it comes to continental coverage throughout Europe. By dividing stock across their fulfillment centres, they can cut down shipping costs and delivery times for customers throughout Europe. That’s complemented by automatic data transfer from your shop to their warehouses.Byrd offers a good range of services, including warehousing and storage, picking and packing, a choice of shipping options, and returns with quality control and restocking to boot. While they do offer custom packaging such as branded boxes or the use of your own materials, there isn’t any information about customisation services like kitting and assembly, which many eCommerce businesses require to appeal to customers and maximise sales.
Perhaps the most unique approach on the list goes to Active Ants – a Netherlands-based fulfillment centre which is dedicated to the use of automation with the extensive utilisation of robots. As such, they can guarantee an error margin of 0% with seamless updates on order status, inventory, and returns – not to mention great cut-off times for next-day delivery.While Active Ants has some skilled workers alongside their robot technology, their service does lack the human element which so many companies pride themselves on. In terms of customisation, for example, your options are quite limited.
Looking for the Top Fulfillment Centre In Europe? Try Autofulfil
Okay, maybe we’re a bit biased. But as one of the top fulfillment centres in Europe, Autofulfil can help you get your orders to your European customers seamlessly, reliably, and without any headaches for peace of mind that you can scale your eCommerce business sustainably. To learn more about our services and how we can tailor them to your unique requirements, contact our team today for a free fulfillment consultation.