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Supply Chain Industry Updates

Global Parcel Volume on Track to More Than Double


Everyone knows this has been a spectacular year for parcel shipping volumes. Pitney Bowes Inc. today released data showing the trend was well underway in 2019 and will probably continue through 2026.

The company’s parcel shipping index found that global parcel volume surpassed 100 billion for the first time ever in 2019, reaching 103 billion. Another way to look at it: More than 3,000 parcels were shipped every second last year. In addition, more than 3 of every 5 parcels shipped in the world’s major markets were generated by China. 

Pitney Bowes predicted parcel volume will more than double and reach 220-262 billion parcels by 2026, with a 14.8 percent compound annual growth rate for 2020-2024. However, due to increased economic uncertainty, its forecast provided a range that showed volumes could be as low as 200 billion or as high as 316 billion parcels in six years.

“While parcel volumes keep rising, carriers are racing to keep up with competition and with consumer demand, delivering innovative new customer experiences, digitalizing technologies and investing in infrastructure, all while generating sustainable revenues,” said Jason Dies, head of Sending Technology Solutions. “Although we won’t document the full impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the industry until next year’s report, in April alone the USPS noted a 60 percent rise in parcel volume across the U.S. … Our adjusted forecasts of parcel volume reaching 220-262 billion by 2026 demonstrate the phenomenal growth expected across the industry.”

The index noted that Amazon Logistics by itself delivered 1.9 billion packages in the United States through its in-house delivery network, representing year-over-year parcel volume growth of 155%. “Amazon Logistics has been rapidly increasing their delivery capacity in the U.S. and expects to compete for external business with traditional carriers,” Pitney Bowes observed. “This effort has been stalled somewhat in 2020 driven by COVID-19 and the significant increase in Amazon’s own shopping volume.”

More information from the index can be unpackaged here.