Pitney Bowes: “staggering” parcel volumes expected to reach 266 billion by 2026

Pitney Bowes: “staggering” parcel volumes expected to reach 266 billion by 2026

Pitney Bowes Inc., a global technology company that provides commerce solutions in the areas of ecommerce, shipping, mailing, data and financial services, today released the new Parcel Shipping Index featuring 2020 data from 13 major markets around the world.

The Index finds global parcel volume reached 131.2 billion in 2020, equating to 4160 parcels shipped per second – an increase of 27 percent year-over-year. 34 parcels were generated per person, on average. Looking ahead, the Index estimates parcel volume could reach 232 billion or as high as 303 billion by 2026. The most likely outcome is that parcel volume will double in the next five years to reach 266 billion in 2026 with an 11 percent CAGR from 2021-26.

Key UK parcel volume and revenue findings

  • 5 billion parcels were generated in the UK, up 33 percent from 3.8 billion in 2019
  • 160 parcels were generated  every second, or around 14 million each day
  • The UK generated the highest parcels per capita in the Index at 74, an increase from 56 in 2019
  • Prior to the pandemic, volume grew by an average of 8%. In 2020 the growth rate more than quadrupled from the previous year, from 7% y-o-y growth in 2019 to 33% in 2020
  • The UK saw the highest increase in carrier revenue of all 13 countries in the Index, up 37 percent to $22.2 billion (£17 billion)
  • Revenue per parcel increased for the first time since 2016, reaching $4.40
  • The top five carriers in the UK account for 76 percent of UK parcel shipments by volume
  • Forecast anticipates UK parcel volume to rise to 5.4 – 6 billion in 2021 – 10-14 percent year-over-year growth – and is expected to reach 7.5-8.5 billion in 2026

The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, now in its sixth year, reveals parcel volume increased across all regions in 2020 with the exception of India. China remains the largest market by volume, with parcel numbers reaching 83.4 billion in 2020 or 2643 parcels shipped every second. Based on forecasts from Pitney Bowes, China is expected to become the first country in the Index to reach 100 billion parcels by volume in one year, which is likely to happen in 2021. 2020 was the first year US parcel volume increased at a faster rate than China since the inception of the Shipping Index.

Carrier parcel revenue increased across all 13 countries in 2020, collectively reaching $429.5 billion, up 22 percent since 2019.  The US remains the market with the highest carrier revenue of all regions in the Index. Countries including the US, Brazil and Australia saw their more established carriers lose market share to competitors.

The latest Index introduces a new performance measure, revenue per parcel. Tracking this datapoint provides insight into carriers’ ability to respond profitably to changing market conditions. France generated the highest revenue per parcel in the report at $9.3. China’s revenue per parcel was the lowest at $1.5.

Key findings from the latest Parcel Shipping Index include:

  •  Parcel volume reached 131.2 billion in 2020, up 27 percent from 103.2 billion
  • 4160 parcels shipped per second compared to 3248 in 2019
  • Parcel revenue reached $429.5 billion, up 22 percent since 2019
  • Highest CAGR 2014-20 for parcel volume was generated by China at 35 percent followed by Brazil at 18 percent and  India at 15 percent
  • Highest CAGR 2014-20 for parcel revenue was generated by China at 27 percent followed by India at 16 percent and US and UK, both with 11 percent
  • The top three markets by revenue – US at $171.4 billion, China at $127.5 billion and Japan at $33.3 billion – represented 77 percent of global parcel revenue in 2020
  • United Kingdom saw the highest increase in carrier revenue, up 37 percent year over year to $22.2 billion
  • France generated the highest revenue per parcel at $9.3
  • China remains the largest market in terms of parcel volume, reaching 83.4 billion, up 31 percent from 63.5bn, followed by the US at 20.2 billion and Japan at 9.1 billion
  • United States remained the market with the highest carrier revenue, reaching $171.4 billion, an increase of 29 percent year over year
  • Brazil experienced the highest year-over-year parcel volume growth at 46 percent to 1.2 billion parcels, followed by the US at 37 percent and UK at 33 percent
  • Japan saw an increase in parcel volume for the first time in three years, with volume reaching 9.1bn, up from 9bn in 2019
  • India’s parcel volume decreased but carrier revenue continued to grow, reaching $4.5bn, up from $4.4 the previous year

 “For six years, the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index has tracked monumental change across the shipping and logistics industry, reflecting shifting consumer behaviors and carriers’ ability to adapt at scale,” said Jason Dies, EVP and President, Sending Technology Solutions, Pitney Bowes. “Ecommerce has become fundamental to our lives, and the staggering parcel volume revealed in the latest Index reflects this. For the world’s carriers, as essential service providers 2020 was a transformative year which tested their investments in people, infrastructure and digital capabilities to the limit. The Parcel Shipping Index accurately tracks and compares their performance during one of the hardest years they’ve ever faced. The Index has never been more widely anticipated or more relevant.”

The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index measures volume and spend for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-business and consumer-consigned shipments with weight up to 31.5 kg (70 lbs.) in 13 major markets, representing 3.8 billion people in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, China, Japan, Australia and India. Based on proprietary and published data, the Index has become a valued industry benchmark and a reliable source of accurate forecasting since the inaugural report in 2016.

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