Global parcel volume rose 27% year-over-year in 2020 to reach more than 131 billion, according to the annual Parcel Shipping Index from shipping technology company Pitney Bowes, released today. That equates to more than 4,000 parcels per second, and is further evidence of how e-commerce and home delivery is testing the limits of global supply chains.
The index tracks parcel volume across 13 markets worldwide.
“For six years, the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index has tracked monumental change across the shipping and logistics industry, reflecting shifting consumer behaviors and carriers’ ability to adapt at scale,” Jason Dies, Pitney Bowes’ EVP and president, Sending Technology Solutions, said in a statement. “E-commerce has become fundamental to our lives, and the staggering parcel volume revealed in the latest Index reflects this. For the world’s carriers, as essential service providers 2020 was a transformative year which tested their investments in people, infrastructure, and digital capabilities to the limit. The Parcel Shipping Index accurately tracks and compares their performance during one of the hardest years they’ve ever faced.”
Parcel volume increased across all regions except India during 2020, with China remaining the largest market by volume, shipping 83.4 billion parcels last year, or more than 2,600 per second, according to the report. China is expected to become the first country in the index to reach 100 billion parcels by volume in one year, which is likely to happen in 2021, according to Pitnney Bowes.
Carrier parcel revenue increased across all 13 countries in 2020, collectively reaching $429.5 billion, up 22% since 2019. The U.S. remains the market with the highest carrier revenue of all regions, according to the data. The report also found that the United States, Brazil, and Australia saw their more established carriers lose market share to competitors.
The 2021 index also introduced a new performance measure: revenue per parcel, which provides insight into carriers’ ability to respond profitably to changing market conditions. France generated the highest revenue per parcel in the report at $9.30. China’s revenue per parcel was the lowest at $1.50.
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 lbs. in 13 major markets, representing 3.8 billion people in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, China, Japan, Australia, and India.