BIEK: German B2C parcel volumes soar

Total sales in the German parcels market grew by 10.5% to €23.5 million in 2020 according to the country’s courier, express and parcel services association the BIEK.

Volumes grew by 10.9% to 4.05 billion packages in 2020, signalling extremely strong growth in the sector, which took on 10,600 new staff in 2020. Business to customer (B2C) drove the growth with an 18.6% surge in volumes, helping the industry see growth unseen in the last 20 years. This was driven by an already strong demand that was boosted by the pandemic.

The growth in the B2C segment more than offset a drop in volumes of 5.2% in business to business (B2B), reflected in the problems faced by high street retailers whose footfall collapsed in the national lockdown.

This year is set to see very strong growth as well, with the BIEK projecting growth of 320 million shipments in 2021, representing an annual growth of 8% and leading to a projected annual growth of 7% until 2025. This contrasts to previous forecasts of 4% annually projected before the start of the pandemic.

Marten Bosselmann, Chairman of the BIEK, explains the effects of the corona pandemic on the parcel industry: “The pandemic has had a lasting effect on the CEP market. In metropolitan areas and city centres, shipment volumes are increasing faster than expected, increasing the challenges associated with delivery. The need for innovative solutions for urban logistics is increasing. By 2025 we will also need 12,000 additional employees per year – before the corona pandemic, a requirement of ‘only’ 7,000 additional employees per year was expected.

The CEP companies are continually adapting to new challenges and are investing heavily in future topics. These include a qualified workforce, the optimization of working conditions, digitization processes, alternative drive technologies, increasingly sustainable and efficient city logistics and much more. Especially during the crisis, parcel services have proven themselves to be reliable and flexible partners: for recipients in the home office, for companies that depend on the reliable transport of goods, and for the healthcare sector. That won’t change in the future either.”

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