Parcel Shipping Index forecasts 20-percent volume increase by 2018

New index reveals 2.9-percent growth in parcel shipping

November 16, 2016
Purchasing B2B


Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

STAMFORD, Conn.—Pitney Bowes Inc., a technology company that provides products and solutions that power commerce, has released the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, an annual report that 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 12 major markets: US, Canada, Brazil, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Australia and India.

The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index found that parcel shipping volume was 31 billion parcels in 2015, which was a 2.9-percent increase over 2014. Furthermore, the Index forecasts parcel shipping volume to grow annually at 5 to 7 percent for a total increase of 20 percent by 2018, with cross-border shipping leading the way.

The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, which is unique in its focus on the parcel shipping market, confirmed that the U.S. is the largest parcel shipping market of the countries studied with more than 11.8 billion parcels shipped and $85 billion spent in 2015. Japan, Germany, UK and France round out the top five countries with parcel volumes of 9.4B, 3.0B, 2.2B and 1.5B units respectively in 2015. Globally, the parcel shipping market is being driven primarily by growth in e-commerce with an increasing number of online shoppers around the world. Of the countries in this Index, the U.S. has the largest retail e-commerce market followed by the UK, Japan, Germany and France.

North American highlights:

  • In North America, parcel shipping volume grew 3.6 percent in 2015 to 11.8 billion in the U.S. and grew 1.6 percent to 0.55 billion in Canada in 2015.
  • U.S. businesses spent more than $85 billion on parcel shipping in 2015, up 1.2 percent from 2014.
  • Growth in the U.S. parcel market was primarily driven by more frequent consumer online shopping, increased office shipping and growing global trade.
  • Approximately 40 percent of the U.S. parcel market is made up of office shipping1, which includes packages and flats shipped by businesses as part of their daily work flow.

European highlights:

  • Of the European countries analyzed, Germany’s parcel market is the largest with more than 2.9 billion parcels shipped in 2015. Germany’s parcel market growth is primarily driven by B2C parcels propelled by strong demand in ecommerce. Parcel shipping spend in Germany rose by 6.4 percent to €12.7 billion in 2015.
  • Parcel shipping volume and spend in the UK grew by 6 percent to 2.2 billion parcels and 10.1 percent to £8.9 billion.
  • The parcel shipping market in France grew 4.7 percent in volume to 1.5 billion and 4 percent in spend to €9.7 billion.

Asia-Pacific highlights:

  • In the Asia-Pacific region, parcel volume dipped by 1.7 percent in Japan, primarily due to an 8.8 percent decline in packets. Conversely, the parcel shipping spend in Japan increased by 2.6 percent to ¥2,480 billion.
  • The Australia parcel shipping market grew by 8.8 percent in volume to .70 billion and 8.2 percent in spend at AU$9.6 billion.
  • In India, parcel volume grew by 8.2 percent to .34 billion and spend increased 17.2 percent to €110.15 billion.

Latin American highlights:

  • Brazil’s parcel market grew 13.9 percent to 0.57 billion parcels and spend grew 15.4 percent to R$10.27 billion.
  • This strong growth was primarily powered by the increase of internet retailing. Also of note was a growing trend in Brazil of buying products via mobile devices, which has further propelled B2C parcel delivery services.

Accurate and precise shipping is paramount for e-commerce businesses around the world. In a recent global shopping survey, Pitney Bowes found that almost half of global shoppers reported some type of challenge with their online holiday orders in 2015. Shipping issues such as the wrong address, lost items or tracking inaccuracies made up more than half of those issues.

The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index focuses on b2b, b2c, c2b and consumer consigned shipments with weight up to 31.5kg (70lbs). All service levels, such as time definite deliveries, are included. Adjacent services offered by carriers such as freight forwarding, supply chain management and cargo shipments are excluded.

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