China Is First Country to Ship 100 Billion Parcels

Latest International Index finds 5,000 parcels shipped every second in 2021 as global carrier revenue reaches $491.5 billion.

Pitney Bowes Inc., a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services, today released the new Parcel Shipping Index featuring 2021 data from 13 major markets around the world. The Index reveals China generated 108 billion parcels in 2021, making it the first country to exceed 100 billion parcels within one year, as forecasted in last year’s report. Global parcel volume reached 159 billion in 2021 equating to 5,000 parcels per second. Total carrier revenue reached $491.5 billion. The Index estimates global parcel volume will most likely reach 256 billion by 2027, with an 8.5% CAGR from 2022-2027.

The seventh edition of the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index finds parcel volume increased across all regions in 2021. China’s growth in parcel volume represents a milestone for the shipping industry. Each day, China ships 300 million parcels, which is more than the smallest market in the Index – Sweden – ships in a year. Across the Index, parcels shipped per capita averaged 41. Parcel volume per household is a new measure included in this year’s Index. An average of 137 parcels were shipped per household across all countries, with China shipping the most at 218.

All countries reported double digit carrier revenue growth except Japan. The U.S. once again generated the highest carrier revenue, at $188 billion. France generated the highest revenue per parcel at $9.63. The average revenue per parcel was $3.

Key findings from the 2021 Parcel Shipping Index include:

• Parcel volume reached 159 billion in 2021, up 21 percent from 131 billion in 2020
• 5,000 parcels shipped per second compared to 4,160 in 2020
• Parcel revenue reached $491 billion, up 17% from $420 billion in 2020
• Highest CAGR 2015-21 for parcel volume was generated by China at 32 percent followed by Brazil at 20 percent
• Highest CAGR 2015-21 for parcel revenue was generated by China at 26 percent followed by India at 15 percent
• China remains the largest market in terms of parcel volume, reaching 108 billion, up 30 percent from 83 billion in 2020
• United States remained the market with the highest carrier revenue, reaching $188 billion, an increase of 16 percent year over year
• Sweden had the highest revenue growth of 38 percent year-over-year, followed by India bouncing back following a decline in 2020. In 2021 India generated a 32 percent year-over-year increase in parcel revenue, reaching $5.2 billion
• United Kingdom generated 80 parcels per capita, the highest parcel per person of all 13 countries in the Index

“2021 was a pivotal time for the parcel shipping industry as it experienced the aftershocks of 2020 and faced new challenges,” said Jason Dies, EVP and President, Sending Technology Solutions, Pitney Bowes. “It is incredible to see carriers generating strong revenue growth despite the headwinds. As consumer shopping habits evolve and inflationary pressures persist, it will be interesting to track the 2022 results.”

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 31.5 kg (70 lbs.) in 13 major markets, representing 3.8 billion people in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, China, Japan, Australia and India. Based on proprietary and published data, the Index has become a valued industry benchmark and a reliable source of accurate forecasting since the inaugural report in 2016.
For detailed insights by region, please visit https://www.pitneybowes.com/us/shipping-index.html where you can also view a short video, infographic and map.

The Parcel Shipping Index is an example of research Pitney Bowes conducts annually to provide insight and forecasts on the shipping and logistics industry. Pitney Bowes also conducts BOXpoll™ a series of weekly consumer surveys in partnership with Morning Consult. Please visit www.pitneybowes.com/boxpoll for the latest BOXpoll findings.

About the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index
The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index measures parcel volume and spend for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-business and consumer consigned shipments with weight up to 31.5kg (70 pounds) across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Population data points were sourced from the International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database published in 2020. The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index spans 13 countries and represents the parcel shipping activity of 3.85 billion people.

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