Scalability as a success factor in e-commerce

Karoline Gees
6 min read

Automation took ECC from about 150 customs declarations per day to roughly 7600 per day and that number is still going up.


As an established customs clearance partner, ECC was looking to expand into the ecommerce business with its low value, high volume shipments. At this point, ECC were filing roughly 150 customs declarations per day and their existing system was unable to cope with higher volumes. It also didn’t support the upload of excel sheets, which is the preferred form of data submission for ECC’s customers. A new system therefore needed to handle large volumes and have the necessary technical compatibility.


AEB Customs Management set ECC up with an automated direct filing solution, connecting them to Dutch Customs, and Customs Broker Integration, allowing them digital communication with customers. For every new customer, ECC sets up a workflow once, then the process runs automatically and is completed within seconds. All ECC has to do is upload an excel file using the file upload option with all the shipment items and the system creates customs declarations without any manual interference. After successfully filing the customs declaration, B2C customers receive the UTB file automatically from the AEB Customs Management platform, B2B customers get confirmation of successful clearance by e-mail. This way, ECC manages imports to and exports from the Netherlands as well as imports to Belgium directly.


406.000 shipments


3 mio


With AEB’s Customs Management solution, ECC went from about 150 customs declarations per day to roughly 7600 per day, equal to 2.8 million declarations in the first year of implementation alone. That number hasn’t peaked yet and the huge potential to scale is also evident looking at the number of shipments. Before November 2021, when ECC and AEB began working together, ECC handled about 23.000 shipments per year, while that number grew to 406.000 shipments between 11/2021 and 10/2022. The only manual effort arises with new customers, but once set up, the automated process is scalable to ever rising numbers of declarations and shipments.

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About ECC

ECC started out as an outsourcing bureau 22 years ago, dispatching customs experts to companies with a temporary requirement for such expertise. ECC expanded to include customs clearance services for import to the Netherlands in 2017, which has since grown into the biggest branch of the company. Most customers stem from the Netherlands, but also from China, Belgium and the UK, where demand has been growing post-Brexit.