Global parcel volumes to surpass 100 billion mark in 2020, Pitney Bowes study forecasts
Worldwide parcel volumes rose by 17% to 74.4 billion parcels last year, up from 63.6 billion in 2016, and are expected to surpass the 100 billion mark in 2020, according to Pitney Bowes’ annual Parcel Shipping Index.
The increase in 2017 was in keeping with the 17-28% growth projection range in the previous year's study. On average, there were 22 parcels shipped per person globally, and 2,300 parcels shipped every second in 2017.
In terms of value sales, parcel shipping generated US$279 billion in revenue last year, an increase of 11% over 2016.
China once again reported the largest parcel volume growth at 28% year-over-year (YOY), driving global growth. If the country was excluded from the Index, last year’s worldwide growth rate would drop from 17% to 6 %.
“China continues to have the greatest impact on the growing shipping market in terms of absolute scale and growth,” said Lila Snyder, President, Commerce Services at Pitney Bowes.
“Globally, ecommerce continues to drive growth in all regions. Global ecommerce giants continue to raise the bar, resetting consumer expectations when it comes to shipping. As retailers and marketplaces race to keep up with increasing consumer expectations, carriers must create efficient, seamless services that deliver in a world of ‘fast and free’ ecommerce shipping,” she added.
The Parcel Shipping Index measures parcel 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 pounds), across 13 major markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States - representing the parcel shipping activity of 3.7 billion people.
Looking at the top-line trends across countries, the Index reveals that China recorded by far the biggest volume, totalling 40.1 billion parcels - or 1,270 parcels shipped each second, followed by the United States (11.9 billion), an increase of 8%, and Japan (9.6 billion), up 2%. China’s parcel shipments represent 53% of the total shipments in the Parcel Shipping Index.
The United States ranks highest in parcel shipping revenue at $107 billion, generating 38% of the total revenue of the 13 countries in the Index. China ($73 billion) and Japan ($25 billion) follow in second and third place. The average shipping price of a parcel is $8.95 in the US, compared to $1.83 in China and $2.64 in Japan.
Albeit at a slower rate than the previous four years, China recorded the highest parcel volume growth (+28% YOY), ahead of India (+15% with 1.5 billion parcels shipped) and Sweden (+9 % with 113 million parcels shipped).
Japan tops per capita shipping with 76 parcels shipped per person in 2017, ahead of the UK (48 parcels) and Germany (41 parcels).
Among the key findings by region, in Europe, Germany recorded 6 % growth to 3.4 billion parcels while the United Kingdom shipped a total of 3.2 billion parcels, up 8% YOY. Volume in France and Italy rose 5% on 2016 levels to 1.2 billion parcels and 759 million parcels respectively. Norway was one of the few markets to decline, with volume dipping by 1% YOY to 56 million parcels.
In the Americas, Brazil's volume grew 6% YOY to 664 million parcels while Canada's volume was up by 5% to 1.1 billion parcels. In the Asia Pacific region, Australia shipped 841 million parcels, up 8% on 2016.