e-commerce sector in Catalonia

Catalonia is a top destination for FDI in e-commerce, ranking 2nd in job creation and capital investment in the industry, and 3rd in the number of projects among Western European regions.

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The e-commerce value chain in Catalonia.

Catalonia's e-commerce turnover increased by 1.5% in 2019. This figure results from the 827 companies currently working on e-commerce in Catalonia. Showing a combined turnover of €3,773M, they employ more than 18,000 workers.

These companies range from marketplaces (41%) to brands native to an online digital sales environment (32%), as well as companies providing third-party e-commerce solutions (11%), technology developers (9%), and logistics (4%). Most Catalan e-commerce companies are young, with 61% still in the startup phase.

In terms of incoming investment, Catalonia is an internationally leading destination for e-commerce FDI, is the 3rd region of Western Europe in the number of projects, the 2nd in terms of job creation, and the 2nd in capital investment in the e-commerce industry. Major e-commerce players such as Amazon, Veepee, Adevinta, Westwing, Lidl, Printful, ManoMano, MyTheresa, and AliExpress have set up operations here.

E-commerce transactions hit 48M in 2019, up 41% since 2015

Between 2015 and 2019, there were 48 million e-commerce transactions in Catalonia, an increase of 41%, proving the growing activity in the sector, with Catalans spending most on leisure (entertainment, culture, technology, communication) and food & drinks, according to 2020 figures, followed by travel, accommodation, and fashion.

Behind all this activity, we can also see that Catalonia has a dynamic trade fair and congress sector related to e-commerce, with significant events celebrated here, such as the yearly Mobile World Congress and 4YFN, as well as the E-show Barcelona, E-Delivery Barcelona, the Retail & Brand Experience World Congress and the Barcelona New Economy Week.  

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Last mile logistics in Catalonia

It is also worth mentioning that growth in e-commerce in 2020 accelerated the development of sustainable last-mile delivery in Catalonia. Specifically in its capital Barcelona, to reduce traffic, noise, and pollution. Here, the City Council promoted two distribution micro hubs that distribute via bicycles or clean vehicles, and they plan to expand to one micro hub per city district.

Distribution is further being transformed with electric bikes and gas-run vans delivering more efficiently and sustainably in areas of difficult access or with time restrictions, such as the Old Town district. Private initiatives are also rising, with new operators arriving on the market.

  • 827 companies

  • €3,773M turnover

  • 18,334 employees

Catalonia's Four Main Logistics Assets: A Competitive Advantage for Businesses

Catalonia has emerged as a logistics and distribution hub in Southern Europe. The region offers a unique combination of assets, making it an ideal location for businesses looking to optimize their supply chain and expand their global reach. Catalonia’s four main logistics assets make it a prime location for companies looking to expand their operations globally.

  1. A central industrial area with a marketplace to match.

    Catalonia's solid and specialized industrial ecosystem attracts international companies, making it open to the world. The region has a central and well-equipped industrial area that can handle large production volumes and supply. Moreover, the marketplace in Catalonia is also extensive, with a vast network of suppliers and distributors available to cater to the needs of various industries.

  2. Unparalleled distribution capacity

    One of the region's most significant advantages is its excellent location. It allows for efficient intercontinental connections to Asia and the US, making it a top place for global businesses. Companies operating in Catalonia can reach Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, and Morocco in just 24- 48 hours.

  3. Integrated Logistic Hub

    Catalonia is the only location in Southern Europe that hosts an international port, airport, and duty-free logistics zones with a warehousing capacity of 12 km. The integrated logistic hub is well-connected and equipped to handle various logistical requirements.

  4. Specialized logistics services and leading global and regional logistics operators

    Catalonia boasts a leading ecosystem of specialized local and international logistics operators, providing value-added services to industries such as textile, chemicals, automotive, agro-food, pharma, and e-commerce.

E-commerce sector in Catalonia

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