- The number of parcels shipped per capita nearly doubled from 2014 to 2018 across the 13 countries covered by Pitney Bowes' annual Parcel Shipping Index Report, released Thursday. In 2014, 12 parcels were shipped per capita globally and by 2018 that number had grown to 23. The 2018 numbers add up to 2,760 parcels shipped per second.
- China remains the largest overall source of shipped packages and, like last year, is posting the fastest growth at 26% year-over-year from 2017 to 2018. Brazil is just behind China in parcel growth at 25% for the same period.
- Global parcel shipping volume continues to outpace revenue growth, though the split has become less dramatic over the last year. In 2017, global parcel volume increased 17% while parcel revenue increased 11% year-over-year. In 2018, global parcel volume increased 17% while revenue increased 13% year-over-year.
Pitney Bowes' data indicates that while e-commerce is still challenging global parcel carriers to keep up with the times, they have made small progress generating revenue from the boom.
However, while the data represents 13 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the U.S. and the UK), China, the U.S. and Japan represent 83% of the total parcel volume so carriers' progress may not be evenly distributed.
The slight increase in revenue from 2017 to 2018 may be attributed to growth in what Pitney Bowes calls "enterprise sending" — meaning business-to-business (B2B) parcel shipments.
"Global parcel revenues continue to benefit from the explosive impact of ecommerce, but it isn't just online shoppers boosting the industry. We know from our clients' own behaviors that office sending is increasing, particularly in industries such as IT, Healthcare and Manufacturing," Jason Dies, vice president of sending technology solutions at Pitney Bowes, said in a statement.
At least in the U.S., carriers are increasingly vying for the business segment as it comes with better margins than its business-to-consumer counterparts. The U.S. continued to win in parcel revenue in 2018 ($119 billion) while dwarfed by China in terms of volume by a factor of four.
Pitney Bowes forecasts IT shipping and wholesale business-to-consumer will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% until 2023, with manufacturing shipping growing at 6.5% CAGR and healthcare at 3.7% CAGR. The growth signals good news for parcel carriers if they play their cards right.
The firm predicts fairly steady growth for global parcel shipping over the next four years — forecasting 13.7% CAGR until 2023.