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Panel discussions at the 6. European CEP days

WIK presents innovative logistics projects sponsored by the initiative mFUND

WIK’s accompanying research on digitisation in mobility will be present at the logistics event ‘iKEP | KEP-together 2019’ on 17 and 18 May in Flörsheim near Frankfurt. WIK will present start-ups and projects supported by mFUND, a research and support initiative financed by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. The event will attract more than 400 visitors from Germany and neighbouring countries. At this event, WIK cooperates with CEP associations Bundesverband der Kurier-Express-Post-Dienste e.V. and IG KEP-together.

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Cross-border e-commerce and delivery services

The European Commission publishes WIK-Consult study

Demand-oriented postal and parcel delivery services are an important factor for the dynamic development of cross-border e-commerce in Europe. In this basic study, WIK explores developments and trends in supply of and demand for delivery solutions in the context of cross-border e-commerce. In addition to detailed analyses of market developments and future trends, the study presents the results of an EU-wide consumer survey on the topic. Moreover, the study deals with further current topics including the discussion on UPU terminal dues and the VAT treatment of e-commerce purchases from non-EU countries (notably from Asia) . Finally, it highlights employment and sustainability aspects related to the dynamically growing delivery services.

The study and the appendices are available for downloaded.

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Cross-border e-commerce in Germany

Potentials and (logistics) barriers for German consumers and e-retailers

There is a continuous growth of the online retail sector in Germany as well as in other European countries. In order to support this development, and to foster cross-border e-commerce, the European Commission has initiated the development of a regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services (the ‘Parcels Regulation’), which took effect in 2018.

The present discussion paper provides an overview of the status quo and current developments in cross-border e-commerce in Germany. In particular, it discusses the Parcel Regulation from the perspective of German consumers, e-retailers and parcel/CEP carriers. The study examines the role of cross-border e-commerce for retailers and consumers in Germany and related opportunities and (logistics) challenges. Furthermore, the study evaluates the performance of the German postal market as a service provider for cross-border e-commerce.

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More than Science Fiction - The Use of Artificial Intelligence in SMEs

WIK report highlights opportunities and challenges of AI deployment

Within the framework of the accompanying research of the funding priority "Mittelstand-Digital", WIK has conducted an expert survey on the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The report would like to contribute to demystifying the term AI: AI is neither science fiction nor a panacea for SMEs. The application possibilities and prerequisites of AI applications should be tested on a case-by-case basis. If the conditions for an use of AI solutions are given, then AI opens large potentials for SMEs. As the results of the survey show, these potentials extend across the entire value chain in various application scenarios. The greatest opportunities are seen in optimising the supply chain and increasing process efficiency.

The biggest obstacle to the implementation of AI in SMEs is the lack of skilled workers, in addition to a lacking database and data security concerns. For this reason, cloud-based AI-as-a-Service-Offers will be of great relevance for SMEs. These require less IT know-how and are easier to implement.

The most important public measures to promote the transfer of AI to SMEs are the identification of best practices, the implementation of AI trainers and of qualification measures. Due to the expertise built up in SME transfer, the "Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Centers" appear to be suitable anchor points for the implementation of these measures.

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Impact of bundled products on competition

Need for action and new trends in bundling?

Bundled products account for over 90% of the German telecommunications market. Hardly any ISP in Germany offers stand-alone services. As a result, most customers switch to bundled products. The share of bundles with three or more services is increasing continuously. Many ISPs (Internet Service Providers) of bundled offers are vertically integrated and simultaneously active at several levels of the value chain. ISPs bundle not only fixed and mobile services (fixed-mobile bundles - FMBs), but also content (such as sports offerings via premium TV services).

One of the more recent bundling trends in Germany is the bundling of telecommunications services with premium content. Another trend is fixed-network mobile telephony bundles (FMB). Can we observe negative impacts on competition and is there a need for regulatory intervention?

In this study we examine the possible competitive effects of bundled products and their impact in practice. Our study concludes that it is still too early to make a final assessment of the competitive impact, partly due to the relatively short time it takes to observe the bundling trends in the market. There is therefore currently no need for regulatory action.

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Presentations

Market drivers in cross-border postal services: a tale of conflicting interests or synergies?, Presentation of Alex Dieke at the UPU Conference on Postal Regulation: UPU Remuneration Systems – New Frontiers for an Old World? on 9 April 2019 in Bern

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