Australia shipped 864 million parcels in 2018, an average of 34 parcels shipped per person or 2.36 million parcels are shipped per day, according to the latest edition of the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index.

In 2017 parcel volume in Australia grew eight per cent to 841 million parcels, up from 778 million the year before.

The research also revealed that online shoppers in Australia are ranked second globally when it comes to shopping internationally – explaining the cross-border ecommerce increase by 7.3 per cent year on year primarily from the Americas, China and the UK in 2018.

Globally, 2,760 parcels are shipped every second and in 2018 parcel volume has reached 87 billion, the highest since the Index began in 2013.

In what many have forecast for mail businesses around the world, this is also the first year that revenue from the parcel segment has surpassed revenue from the mail segment for all major postal companies.

“Global parcel revenues continue to benefit from the explosive impact of ecommerce, but it isn’t just online shoppers boosting the industry,” said Stephen Darracott, Country Manager and Director Pitney Bowes Australia and New Zealand.

“We know from our clients’ own behaviours that office sending is increasing in Australia, especially as ecommerce increases Australian business visibility globally. What’s more, the boost for small businesses showcases the growing consumer appetite and increasing need for competitive offerings.”

Significantly, this Shipping Index has revealed that optimising the ‘last mile’ delivery is now a key concern and motivation for innovation for almost all shipping businesses, especially as consumer expectations shift from 2-day delivery, to 1 day and now even 2 hours.

Solutions such as intelligent parcel lockers are becoming the norm, however it’s the cognitive technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain that could spark real change in optimising last mile deliveries, the report argues.

The industry is moving to accommodate for this growth in demand. In 2019 Australia Post announced its largest parcel facility (50,000 square meters) and delivery centre in Queensland to meet the increasing demand due to growing ecommerce, with the new facility able to process up to 700,000 parcels per day at peak timings.

“We’ve observed carriers trialing new and exciting strategies to deliver the best customer experience. The next-generation of sending technologies are producing last mile innovation that will continually provide solutions for the businesses of Australia,” Darracott said.

“Pitney Bowes’ latest product developments and partnerships are geared towards that, providing innovative sending solutions that can improve our customers’ business, and the ease at which they send. Pitney Bowes is proud to ensure Australians continue to grow their businesses successfully.”

From a global perspective, China continues to exert its influence on the global parcel shipping market. In 2018, it extended its global lead in parcel volume, with 26 per cent year-over-year growth. At 51 billion, its parcel volume is more than four times that of the United States which stands at 13 billion. But the United States’ parcel revenues – at $119.bn – remain higher than China’s parcel revenues of $91bn.

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