Europe’s unique geographic landscape and infrastructure means that rail and sea routes are often a more efficient and even faster mode of transport for transporting goods. That is why we have been expanding the use of short sea routes and rail to transport packages and inventory across Europe in recent years. In 2023 alone, we grew our use of rail and sea transportation by 50% and now distribute products via more than 100 rail lanes and more than 300 sea routes.

Independent sellers account for 60% of total paid units sold on Amazon. These are mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), many of which sell on Amazon to reach new customers, both within their home countries and internationally. To ensure that customers across Europe benefit from a wide selection of products as well as fast and reliable delivery, we analyse which items are ordered most frequently in each location so that we can place those products closer to where customers live. Sea and rail routes are increasingly essential for moving those products between our buildings, including for SMEs like Mameido, Amarcords, and Gamble & Gunn.

Freight shippers, looking to move their freight shipments simply & reliably, can leverage Amazon’s advanced technology, network of trailers, and trusted carrier partners through Amazon Freight.

Mameido

Rail Logistik von Amazon in Europa

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It has always been the dream of five friends from Dusseldorf - Sarah, Benjamin, Matthias, Moreno and Stefan - to create simple yet beautifully designed water bottles and mugs that would accompany people around the world throughout their day. When they started their own company, Mameido, they decided to focus on products and design, and entrusted Amazon with taking care of how their bottles and mugs reach customers. Mameido’s story is shared by more than 47,500 SMEs across Germany which are growing their businesses by selling to customers all over Europe, recording 4.75 billion euros in sales in 2022.

Amarcords

Amazon’s rail logistics in Europe

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Founded in Milan in 2015, Amarcords specialises in the production of vintage design light bulbs. The company creates unique products that combine the history of electricity with modern, low energy consuming technology. In true Italian spirit, Amarcords’ founder, Marco Avarello, believes that light is a visual emotion that can be experienced in various spaces such as homes, lofts, clubs, restaurants, gardens, and terraces. While Marco focuses on the colours, shapes and materials of his bulbs, we ensure they reach and delight their customers across Europe.

Gamble & Gunn

Amazon’s sea logistics in Europe

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British hat designers Gamble & Gunn believe the original energy and passion that was put into creating a classic hat doesn’t die, it only changes forms and owners. Gamble & Gunn use traditional heritage hat patterns to create their quintessentially British hats – from classic flat caps to pork pie hats and fedoras. Amazon makes sure these uniquely crafted products reach customers across Europe, quickly and without hassle. Similar to Gamble & Gunn, more than 40,000 other SMEs across the UK are growing their businesses by selling through Amazon to European customers, recording £1.8 billion in export sales in the European Union.

To support these businesses, we are investing in sea transportation to put their products closer to customers.

Our rail and sea networks are built on partnerships with European rail and sea carriers including Cargo Beamer, VIIa, the Mercitalia Group, Grimaldi, Stena Line, DFDS, and others. To be able to move flexibly between different transportation modes, we use trailers that can be easily transferred between ships, freight trains, and trucks.

A typical product journey starts at an Amazon fulfilment centre, where the trailer is loaded and taken to a sea port or rail terminal. From there, the load travels by ship or rail to another port or rail terminal where local drivers pick it up and take it to the final destination. Where we combine sea and rail with road transport, we plan the routes in such a way so that trailers travel the longest distances by rail or sea. This reduces driving times significantly and enables us to engage local road transport partners.

By moving products by sea or rail, instead of via road by trucks, we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint. On average, taking a rail or sea route to transport packages or inventory helps us reduce carbon emissions by almost 50%.

In 2023, like the year before, we will transfer thousands of truckloads between our buildings by sea and rail in Europe, saving thousands of tons of CO₂ emissions.