Dedicated warehouse abroad for handling e-commerce returns – drawbacks and benefits

E-commerce has become one of the most important sectors of the economy. The increasing competition in this area means that customer expectations for fast and efficient order processing are also growing. This poses many challenges for online store owners. One of them is handling returns, which especially in cross-border sales can be a complex and time-consuming process. For this reason, some merchants decide to use dedicated warehouses abroad to handle e-commerce returns. What are the drawbacks and benefits of such a model for handling returning orders?

Managing returns has become a key element of customer service. Companies aiming to optimise logistical processes increasingly consider establishing a dedicated warehouse abroad, specialising in handling returns. This strategy offers several benefits but also comes with certain challenges.

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Benefits of local returns management in foreign warehouses

Opening a warehouse abroad to handle returns brings direct benefits for both customers and the store. Local presence allows for faster verification of returned products, resulting in shorter waiting times for customers for exchanges or refunds. The reduction in distance shipments need to cover is significant. This lowers the cost of the entire process and positively impacts the company’s carbon footprint reduction. Not everyone pays attention to this, but it becomes important for a large portion of buyers. Utilising a short supply chain and return handling process is an argument that can attract them to your offer.

From an operational perspective, a warehouse abroad enables faster control over the status of returned goods. The ability to quickly verify and potentially refurbish products allows for their faster return to sale, which is crucial in inventory management and can positively impact cash flow in the company.

Foreign warehouse is a logistical and operational challenge

Nevertheless, the decision to establish a warehouse for handling returns abroad also brings risks. One of the main challenges is understanding and adapting to local legal regulations – both regarding returns and taxes. Differences in regulations may require detailed knowledge and increase operational complexity.

Additionally, maintaining a warehouse abroad generates fixed costs that must be carefully calculated before making a decision. There is a risk that with a small number of returns, these costs will not be balanced by savings resulting from local handling.

Managing a warehouse abroad may be more difficult in another country. This is not only about supervising personnel and controlling operations but also about cultural differences in approach to working hours, task handling, communication… These differences need to be anticipated.

Global 24 assists in quick handling of international returns

Global 24 supports merchants in the process of returning goods in many European countries where it delivers shipments. Customer-friendly handling of returned orders is an advantage that will gain customers’ sympathy, so consider a new way of implementation. You don’t have to organise the entire logistics process right away, rent space, and employ workers. See how you can operate with our solutions!

At Global 24, we strive to make it as easy as possible for people returning goods. They can return the product in their country using the attached label or send it via a carrier of their choice to the specified address. The stores we cooperate with can use our warehouse addresses in all countries where we operate.

What do you gain from local return addresses in individual countries?

  1. You meet the requirements of marketplaces necessary for cross-border sales.
  2. You build a brand compared to other stores by offering local return options in different markets. Numerous return addresses suggest a large scale of merchant’s operation, which positively affects its reception by customers.
  3. Our logistics settlement for returning orders does not include subscriptions – you only pay for returns actually received. You can use the foreign addresses we provide free of charge.
  4. You do not incur costs for individual returns to the country as international parcels. Why? All parcels are handled in our warehouse network and returned to you as a batch.

The modern e-commerce market knows no boundaries, so apart from promotion, it is precisely returns management that poses one of the biggest challenges for stores operating internationally. Stores that can efficiently manage returns not only gain the trust and loyalty of customers but also gain a better position in the markets.

What to choose?

The choice of returns management strategy depends on many factors, including the scale of operations, geographic distribution of customers, and the nature of the products. A warehouse abroad dedicated to handling returns can provide significant benefits in terms of operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, but it also requires a careful analysis of potential obstacles and costs. For stores opting for such a solution, the key to success will be integrating logistical processes and continuously striving to optimise returns management.

Looking for support in optimising the process of handling your international returns? Let’s talk!


    Global24 Team


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