Parcel volumes are soaring in 13 countries, but shippers pay most in the US
- Growth in global parcel volume is far outpacing revenue growth, according to the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index. Parcel volume was up 17% YoY in 2017 as compared to revenue, which rose 11% over the same time period.
- Though the U.S. did not post the highest gains in parcel volume, it won the year in revenue showing just how far U.S. shipping rates exceed other global volume leaders. The average shipping price of a parcel is $8.95 in the U.S., compared to $1.83 in China and $2.64 in Japan.
- Pitney Bowes predicts global shipping volumes will surpass 100 billion parcels by 2020 — another 25% increase — in aggregate across the 13 countries reviewed: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.
Global parcel volume is exploding, but China's impact makes the numbers slightly less than straightforward.
“China continues to have the greatest impact on the growing shipping market in terms of absolute scale and growth,” said Lila Snyder, president of commerce services at Pitney Bowes in a statement. Case in point, including China, global average parcel volume growth was 16.9%. Without China, average growth was at 6%.
Revenue growth is less affected by China, as the U.S. dominates that indicator, but with revenue comes the highest shipping costs, according to Pitney Bowes analysis of rates from UPS, Fedex and USPS — a fact that has received some industry pushback of late.
Rates are at the center of an ongoing battle between President Donald Trump and U.S. e-commerce giants.
Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
President Trump has recently taken up the issue of parcel rates, often tweeting about the sweet deal that Amazon gets on USPS services. He recently called for the USPS to raise rates on international shipments and a report from President Trump's Task Force on the United States Postal System is expected imminently with rate recommendations.
The "Package Coalition" — an industry group formed earlier this month by large postal users including Amazon, Express Scripts and QVC — sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, asking for the task force to "pursue solutions that preserve an affordable, reliable postal package delivery system."
Whether or not Trump's changes go through at the Universal Postal Union Meeting in September, the President appears committed to widening the gap between parcel rates of the U.S. and the rest of the world even further.
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