Pitney Bowes’ Global Shipping Index Finds Slowing Growth – WWD

Over the past seven years, global parcel volume skyrocketed, increasing by 150 percent from 64 billion in 2016 to 161 billion in 2022 — equivalent to 5,102 packages shipping every second, according to Pitney Bowes.

Pitney Bowes’ latest global parcel shipping index, the company’s annual report that looks across 13 countries in its analysis of the state of the shipping industry, predicts that parcel volume will likely reach 225 billion by 2028, with a 6 percent compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, adjusted from a forecasted 8 percent in last year’s report.

While parcel volume continues to grow, growth slowed to just 1 percent year-over-year in 2022. China experienced the slowest growth rate in the company’s tracking history, seeing 11 billion parcels shipped in 2022, which represents an increase of only 2 percent. Pre-pandemic, China’s parcel volume forecast was 25 percent CAGR for 2018-22, with actual volume growth coming in slightly lower at 22 percent.

“China parcel volume had maintained a double-digit growth rate every year from 2013 to 2021,” said Gregg Zegras, executive vice president of global e-commerce at Pitney Bowes. “However, in 2022, COVID[-19]-related lockdowns caused a sharp slowdown. As the world’s second-largest economy, China is experiencing a frail pace of growth during its COVID[-19] recovery. We’re seeing volume slowdown, declining e-commerce sales, and an overall weak economy, projecting a 7 percent parcel volume CAGR for 2023 to 2028.” 

According to Pitney Bowes’ report, India saw the highest increase in parcel volume at 18 percent, which the authors of the report credit to e-commerce expansion. Other countries that saw slight growth in 2022 include Italy at 4 percent, China at 2 percent and Brazil at 2 percent. Meanwhile, Sweden and Canada experienced notable declines with decreases of 11 and 9 percent, respectively.

In terms of global parcel revenue, Pitney Bowes’ findings revealed a 1 percent decline in 2022 to $485 billion, impacted by strong U.S. dollars and its increase in value compared to other currencies analyzed in the report. The U.S., Brazil and Australia were the only countries to see growth in parcel revenue in 2022, led by the U.S. with a 7 percent growth in carrier revenue at $198 billion. Despite its lower volume, the U.S. generated more revenue than China due to significantly higher fees per package.

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