Maergo & Parcel Groupage

Picking up from Rick’s blog post on Maergo

Maergo is slightly different spin some existing parcel brokering/groupage capabilities offered by others, especially Pitney Bowes (who powers both eBay Global Shipping Programme and Amazon Global shipping), and also carriers like DPD and Ascendia

Typically groupage works by as follows

  • retailer/seller sends the parcel to a centralised intake point in a country or region operated b the groupage service (the groupage operator may mandate a specific carrier to the intake or just mandate parcel label content/electronic manifesting).
  • The intake point bundles parcels together into a bag by destination region/country, and consigns the whole bag (with customs clearance information if needed) via an appropriate carrier (airline, truck) to a groupage partner in the destination, at a lower cost than the individual parcels transiting networks to get the destination (with the additional service of expedited customs clearance, usually with duty/tax prepaid by the sender instead of becoming a liability for the recipient, including customs processing/brokerage fees; in the UK Parcelforce has the practical monopoly for import of one-offs and charges £8 to process the payment of assessable VAT/duty).
  • The groupage partner in destination receives the grouped bundle of parcels, and then relabels each parcel for a local carrier and dispatches (based on electronic file sent by origin groupage partner–scan a inbound label, get a fully completed local label to stick on).

Maergo seems to be directly engaging with airlines for the middle step instead of handing off to a traditional shipping broker or larger carrier.

In Europe, some national postal administrations seem to self groupage and hand off to destination last mile who isn’t the expected counterparty in the international postal union. For example, I have had parcels originated via bpost (Belgium post) passed through in the UK to Hermes instead of Royal Mail. (And Deutsche Post gets DHL to handle all their outbound “economic” international parcels something like a groupage basis, these generally get handed to Royal Mail/Parcelforce inbound to the UK even though DHL/DHL ground could do the last mile themselves)

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