Parcel shipping volume grew 17% in 2017 across 13 major geographies tracked by Pitney Bowes, from 64 billion to 74 billion items shipped, with China the largest shipper at 40 billion items, followed by the U.S. (12 billion) and Japan (10 billion).
The fastest growth in terms of parcel shipping volume was in China (up 28%), India (up 11%) and Sweden (up 9%). The 13 markets tracked are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Across those 13 countries, Pitney Bowes is projecting parcel shipping volume will surpass 100 billion by 2020.
Parcel revenue in the tracked group increased 11% last year, according to Pitney Bowes, from $250 billion to $278 billion, with the U.S. as the largest market at $107 billion, followed by China ($73 billion) and Japan ($25 billion). India, China and the U.S. saw the fastest growth in parcel revenue, at 23%, 25% and 8%, respectively.
“China continues to have the greatest impact on the growing shipping market in terms of absolute scale and growth,” said Lila Snyder, President, Commerce Services at Pitney Bowes in a statement. “Globally, ecommerce continues to drive growth in all regions. Global ecommerce giants continue to raise the bar, resetting consumer expectations when it comes to shipping.”
To illustrate the impact of the explosion of parcel shipping volume generated by China, Pitney Bowes backed out the country’s figures and found parcel revenue growth in the group was 7% instead of 11%, and parcel volume was up 6% instead of 17%.
In terms of the domestic parcel shipping market, Pitney Bowes pegged the U.S. Postal Service as the clear leader in 2017 with a 43% share (5.1 billion parcels), followed by UPS (36% and 4.3 billion) and FedEx (20% and 2.4 billion). The “other” category represented just 1% of the total or 169 million parcels.
North of the border, the differences among carriers weren’t as stark, with Canada Post enjoying a 22% market share (242 million parcels), followed by UPS (18%, 208 million parcels) and FedEx (13%, 144 million parcels). The Canadian market is also much more fractured, with “other” representing 47% of the total.
Here are some other key findings by region from Pitney Bowes:
Americas (Brazil, Canada, U.S.)
- The U.S. total of 11.9 billion parcels represented an 8% increase, or 37 parcels per person in 2017
- In Brazil, parcel volume grew 6% to 664 million parcels and an average of 3 parcels per person per year
- In Canada, volume was up 5% to 1.1 billion parcels or 30 parcels per person
Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, UK)
- Sweden was up 9% to 113 million parcels or 11 parcels per person in 2017
- The UK shipped 3.2 billion parcels, increasing 8%, representing 48 parcels per person
- At 1.2 billion parcels, France grew 5% in 2017, or an average of 18 parcels per person
- Germany shipped an average of 41 parcels per person, for a total of 3.4 billion, up 6%
- Italy shipped 759 million parcels, up 5%, averaging 12 per person
- Norway dipped 1% to 56 million parcels, or 11 per person in 2017
Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India, Japan)
- China’s parcel volume reached 40.1 billion in 2017, up 28%, representing 1,270 parcels shipped per second. This equated to an average of 29 parcels per person
- India shipped just 1 parcel per person in 2017, yet the populous nation grew 15% to 1.5 billion parcels shipped
- Australia shipped 841 million parcels, or 34 per person, an 8% increase
- Japan shipped 76 parcels per person, up 2% 9.6 billion in total