Overcoming Logistics Challenges in E-commerce: Insights from John Pemberton 

Back in February 2024, we hosted our inaugural e-commerce event with some of the biggest and brightest names in the biz. The day was a huge success with plans underway for an even bigger and better event the same time next year – eCom Insights 2025!  

At this world-leading event, our partners, Linnworks, set up a pop-up podcast studio to interview some of the great minds passing through. You can watch the entire video with Jon Pemberton, Founder of BoxesRus, below or check out the key take-aways underneath. 

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, ensuring seamless operations and staying ahead of market trends are paramount. Recently, John Pemberton, head of BoxesRus Limited (trading on boxes.co.uk), shared valuable insights into the current challenges and growth strategies within the industry. 

Navigating Logistics Challenges 

John identified logistics as the foremost challenge for his business. The crux of the issue lies in ensuring that every logistical aspect runs smoothly, preventing any customer inconvenience. Current global disruptions, particularly in the Middle East, have escalated shipping costs for major suppliers. This increase comes at a time when consumers are already feeling the pinch of rising living costs, putting pressure on businesses to optimise their logistics without passing excessive costs onto customers. 

Leveraging TikTok for Growth 

On a more positive note, John highlighted the immense potential of TikTok as a growth platform. Unlike traditional brand marketing, success on TikTok often comes through collaboration with influencers. These influencers can drive substantial sales, even if their identities and methods remain relatively unknown to the broader market. For e-commerce businesses, harnessing the power of influencers on TikTok can unlock new growth avenues. 

Customer-Centric Approach 

John’s advice for small e-commerce businesses is clear: prioritise customer care above all else. While pricing is dictated by the market, true profitability and success come from meticulously managing unit costs, shipping, and transportation. Continuously revisiting and refining these aspects is crucial. Automation plays a vital role here. John advocates for the use of systems like Linnworks, which he has utilised for over a decade. Such systems can effectively function as additional staff members, freeing up time to reinvest in business improvements. 

Constant Re-evaluation for Cost Savings 

John’s experience underscores the importance of regularly reassessing business processes and partnerships. In one instance, switching shippers saved his company €1.50 per parcel to Germany, enough to cover a staff member’s annual salary. This example illustrates that even when things seem well-managed, there are always opportunities for further optimisation and cost savings. 


John Pemberton’s insights shed light on the dual focus required for success in e-commerce: addressing logistical challenges head-on while embracing innovative growth strategies like influencer marketing on TikTok. For small businesses, prioritising customer care and continuously seeking cost-saving opportunities are key to thriving in a competitive market. By leveraging automation and constantly reevaluating partnerships, e-commerce businesses can navigate challenges and achieve sustainable growth. 

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