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How Global Parcel Volume Will Reach 200 Billion by 2025, Despite Trade Woes

Driven by e-commerce growth, global parcel volume increased 17 percent in 2018 to a record 87 billion, with an average of 23 parcels shipped per person globally and 2,760 parcels shipped every second, according to Pitney Bowes’ fourth annual Parcel Shipping Index.

China, the U.S. and Japan combined for 83 percent of global parcel volume last year. The Parcel Shipping Index report said despite global trade uncertainty, global parcel volume is forecast to more than double in the next six years and reach 200 billion parcels by 2025.

Among other key findings of the report, China’s parcel volume was 50.5 billion in 2018, followed by the U.S. with 12.5 billion and Japan with 9.4 billion. The U.S. was the highest in parcel shipping revenue at $118.9 billion compared to $91.3 billion for China and $30.1 billion for Japan. Japanese residents again sent the most packages, with 74 parcels shipped per person in 2018, but this is down from 76 per capita the previous year.

The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index measures volume and spend for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-business and consumer consigned shipments with weight up to 70 pounds in 13 major markets–the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, China, Japan, Australia and India–representing 3.7 billion people.

Global parcel revenue remained strong, reaching $317 billion in 2018, a 13 percent increase over the previous year. Brazil notched the second-highest year-over-year growth rate in the index with a 25 percent increase, while India saw a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25 percent in parcel volume from 2013 to 2018 and year-over-year growth of 21 percent last year.

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“Global parcel revenues continue to benefit from the explosive impact of e-commerce, but it isn’t just online shoppers boosting the industry,” Jason Dies, executive vice president at Pitney Bowes, said.

“We know from our clients’ own behaviors that office sending is increasing, particularly in industries such as IT, healthcare and manufacturing,” he added. “Carriers are trialing new and exciting strategies to deliver the best customer experience, to keep costs down, boost productivity and generate profitability, such as forming partnerships, designing next-generation sending technologies and developing last mile innovation.”

Augmenting the Shipping Index, Pitney Bowes carried out separate research on its clients’ sending patterns and behaviors to identify key trends across different industries. The research found sustained growth in enterprise sending, primarily office shipping, across several different industries.

Shipping volume generated by the IT industry is forecast to grow at 7.5 percent CAGR to 2023, with wholesale B2C rising at the same rate. Manufacturing shipping volume is expected to grow at 6.5 percent CAGR in the period.