New research from Pitney Bowes,  a global technology business operating in the logistics sector found that global parcel volume surpassed 100 billion for the first time in 2019, reaching 103 billion. Australians shipped 934 million parcels in 2019, an increase of 8 per cent year over year (YoY) with an average of 37 parcels shipped per person.

Furthermore, ecommerce retail sales grew by 4 per cent YoY to reach USD 15.7 billion in 2019, making Australia the 10th largest ecommerce market worldwide.

According to Stephen Darracott, VP and country manager, Pitney Bowes Japan, Australia and New Zealand. “Unsurprisingly, shipping volumes and revenue continue to grow in Australia. When we break down the 934 million parcels sent throughout 2019, that equates to an average of more than 2.5 million parcels each day and more than 106 thousand per hour or 1,777 per minute or 30 per second.”

“The spike in ecommerce is majorly driven by the popularity of sales events and marketplaces, the introduction of ‘Buy now Pay later’ (BNPL) payment options, affordable logistics and faster deliveries with next business day deliveries growing significantly at 21 per cent YoY.”

Darracott said the pandemic has completely changed the way Australians live and work, and it is driving a further push towards online shopping.

Key shipping index findings by region

Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India, Japan)

  • Australia shipped 934 million parcels, an increase of 8 per cent YoY.
  • China’s parcel volume reached 63.5 billion in 2019, up from 51 billion in 2018 and 40 billion in 2017.
  • India’s parcel volumes have increased steadily since 2013 to 2.8 billion, with a CAGR since 2013 of 22 per cent – one of the highest rates of volume growth in the Index.
  • Japan’s parcel volume, 9 billion, declined by 3 per cent from the previous year. Revenue increased by 5 per cent to $31.5 billion.

Americas (United States, Brazil, Canada)

  • United States generated $130 billion revenue in parcel revenue, the highest of all 13 countries studied and an increase of 11 per cent YoY. The market shipped 14.7 billion parcels, up from 13.2 billion in 2018. Amazon Logistics volume is included in both years, having delivered 1.9 billion packages in the US alone through its in-house delivery network, with a CAGR forecasted at 22 per cent to 2023.
  • Brazil’s parcel volume grew 15 per cent YoY, with volume reaching 850 million parcels – an average CAGR from 2014-19 of 10.5 per cent.
  • Canada’s parcel shipments reached 1.1 billion, up 8 per cent from the year prior.

Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom)

  • France saw parcel volumes reach 1.34 billion and a CAGR of 5 per cent from 2013-19.
  • Germany generated 3.7 billion parcel shipments in 2019. Germany has the largest B2B sector in Europe, comprising around 65 per cent of its overall market value. It was the only market where revenue in USD declined, by a marginal -0.2 percent YoY.
  • Italy reached 990 million parcels shipped in 2019, 15 per cent growth since the previous year.
  • Norway saw parcel volumes increase by 24 per cent since 2018. Parcel shipments reached 80 million and revenue increased by 20.5 percent YoY.
  • Sweden saw 6.2 per cent growth in parcel volumes since the previous year, reaching 135 million in 2019.
  • United Kingdom parcel shipments generated $16.1 billion in revenue and reached 3.8 billion parcels, a 7 per cent increase in both parcel volume and revenue since 2018.

The latest report reveals growth of 17.7 per cent in 2019 in the world’s 13 major markets, in line with the 17-28 per cent growth projection range given in previous Parcel Shipping Index reports. On average, 3,248 parcels were shipped every second in 2019 in the world’s 13 major markets, equating to an average of 27 parcels shipped per person.

China remains the strongest influence on the market with 63.5 billion parcels shipped in 2019 and an increase of 26 per cent in parcel volume year-over-year. Excluding China, parcel volume increased by 6.7 per cent, from 37 billion in 2018 (including Amazon Logistics volume in the US) to 39 billion in 2019. Global parcel revenue increased by 9 per cent year-over-year from $323 billion in 2018 to $351 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 11 percent during 2013-19.

The report forecasts parcel volume is most likely to more than double and reach 220-262 billion parcels by 2026, with a 14.8 percent CAGR for 2020-2024. Due to increased uncertainty fuelled by the global pandemic, the forecast provides a range that shows volumes could be as low as 200 billion or as high as 316 billion parcels in six years.

Jason Dies, EVP and VP Sending Technology Solutions said while parcel volumes keep rising, carriers are racing to keep up with competition and with consumer demand, delivering innovative new customer experiences, digitalising technologies and investing in infrastructure, all while generating sustainable revenues.

“Although we won’t document the full impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the industry until next year’s report, in April alone the USPS noted a 60 per cent rise in parcel volume across the US. Our Index has a track record of accurate forecasting, and our adjusted forecasts of parcel volume reaching 220-262 billion in 2026 demonstrate the phenomenal growth expected across the industry.”

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