Letter from Russia

5 Russian fulfillment companies for cross-border ecommerce

Recently I received an interesting report titled “Internationalising your brand in 2017.” It was commissioned by Arvato, a Germany-based media technology company, and produced by WBR Insights, a consulting firm.

The report is based on a survey of 200 decisionmakers at leading ecommerce retailers in the United States. It offers insights on how top American brands are planning to expand their business in Europe.

Internalization includes many things: language and currency localization, regulatory and pricing policy, payment methods, market preferences and trends, and security and automation technologies.

Cross-border ecommerce brands are especially concerned with:

  • Finding a fulfillment partner that can provide an entire scope of services, to represent the brand.
  • Partnering with a local company, for market expertise.

The market in Russia, according to the Arvato report, is number nine in the list of top expansion markets by U.S. brands. Small and midsized ecommerce merchants can expand into Russia, too, provided they master the local fulfillment and delivery challenges.

In this article, I will profile five Russian companies that provide fulfillment services to foreign manufacturers and retailers, including customs clearance, returns, and marketing support.

5 Russian fulfillment companies

SPSR Express is a leader among Russian fulfillment providers. Founded in 2001, it now has over 1,000 vehicles and 4,000 employees. It operates in 6,000 Russian cities.

Additional services

  • Own call center.
  • Marketing.
  • Content creation.
  • Website development and support.
  • Cross-docking.
  • Returns processing (including partial returns).

Pricing

  • Per operation.
  • Volume percentage.
  • Bundled rates.

Delivery

  • Own courier service.

Features

  • Customs clearance.
  • Bulk shipments from the warehouse.
  • Quality certificates: ISO 9001.
  • Personal data processing license.
  • Waste management.

Warehousing

  • Warehouses in Moscow, Riga, Istanbul, Hong Kong.
  • Video surveillance of the goods acceptance and shipment areas.
  • SKU-based storage.
  • Mixed storage.
  • Pallet storage.
  • Allocated storage rooms.
  • Warehouse insurance.

Shiptor, founded in 2007, provides fulfillment and other services to international companies. It has warehouses in the U.S., Germany, China, and Russia. The firm has an in-house development team for software integrations.

Additional services

  • Own call center.
  • Marketing.
  • Content creation.
  • Website development and support.
  • Cross-docking.
  • Returns processing (including partial returns).

Pricing

  • Per operation.

Delivery

  • Own courier service.

Features

  • Bulk shipments from the warehouse.
  • Personal data processing license.
  • Waste management.
  • Customs clearance.

Warehousing

  • Warehouses in Moscow, Claymont (Delaware in U.S.), Berlin, Langfang (China).
  • Video surveillance of the goods acceptance and shipment areas.
  • Temperature regime storage.
  • SKU-based storage.
  • Mixed storage.
  • Pallet storage.
  • Allocated storage rooms.
  • Warehouse insurance.

Itella came to Russia in 2008 from Finland. It merged with a local logistics marketing company and launched a local fulfillment business. Today Itella Russia has 3,500 employees and “A-class” warehouses in all major cities across the country.

Additional services

  • Call center provided by a partner.
  • Marketing.
  • Website development and support.
  • Cross-docking.
  • Returns processing (including partial returns).

Pricing

  • Per operation.
  • Bundled rates.

Delivery

  • Own courier service.

Features

  • Customs clearance.
  • Bulk shipments from the warehouse.
  • Quality certificates: ISO 9001, ISO 14001.
  • Licensed storage of pharmaceuticals, alcohol, special technical conditions for the storage of dangerous goods.
  • Personal data processing license.
  • Waste management (via partners).

Warehousing

  • Four warehouses in Moscow, one in St. Petersburg and five in other major cities.
  • Video surveillance of the goods acceptance and shipment areas.
  • Temperature regime storage.
  • SKU-based storage.
  • Mixed storage.
  • Pallet storage.
  • Allocated storage rooms.
  • Warehouse insurance.
  • Dangerous goods storage.

PEK operates in 100,000 cities across Russia serving 300,000 clients every month. The company specializes in consolidated cargos. It also provides delivery from Chinese drop shippers.

Additional services

  • Cross-docking.
  • Returns processing (including partial returns).

Pricing

  • Per operation.
  • Bundled rates.

Delivery

  • Own courier service.

Features

  • Customs clearance via partners.
  • Bulk shipments from the warehouse.
  • Personal data processing license.
  • Waste management.

Warehousing

  • Warehouses in Moscow, partner warehouses in other cities.
  • Video surveillance of the goods acceptance and shipment areas.
  • SKU-based storage.
  • Mixed storage.
  • Pallet storage.
  • Warehouse insurance.

CDEK Express provides fulfillment services — including “cash-on-delivery” services — to major clients in large cities and to small regional retailers and ecommerce merchants. It has 60 warehouses across Russia.

Additional services

  • Own call center.
  • Cross-docking.
  • Returns processing (including partial returns).

Pricing

  • Per operation.

Delivery

  • Own courier service.

Features

  • Customs clearance.
  • Bulk shipments from the warehouse.

Warehousing

  • Warehouses in Moscow and many other cities.
  • Video surveillance of the goods acceptance and shipment areas.
  • SKU-based storage.
  • Pallet storage.
  • Warehouse insurance.

Russian fulfillment providers: comparison table

SPSR ExpressShiptorItellaPEKCDEK Express
Additional Services
Call center++++
Marketing+++
Content creation++
Website development and support+++
Cross-docking+++++
Returns processing+++++
Pricing
Per operation+++++
Volume percentage+
Bundled rates+++
Delivery
Own courier service+++++
Features
Customs clearance+++++
Bulk shipments from warehouse+++++
Quality certificates: ISO 9001++
Quality certificates: ISO 14001+
Personal data processing license++++
Waste management++++
Licensed storage of pharmaceuticals, alcohol, special technical conditions (STC) for the storage of dangerous goods+
SLA+
Warehouse
LocationsMoscow
Riga
Istanbul
Hong Kong
Moscow
Claymont
Berlin
Langfang
Moscow
St. Petersburg
MoscowMoscow
Many others
Video surveillance+++++
Temperature regime storage++
SKU-based storage+++++
Mixed storage++++
Pallet storage+++++
Allocated storage rooms++++
Warehouse insurance+++++
Dangerous goods storage+
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