Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index shows US boom in 2021

According to leading US parcels carrier Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, US parcel volumes grew by 6% to 21.5 billion units in 2021. This was before the 2022 slowdown in global e-commerce.

Across the board, carriers saw revenues jump to $188 billion (£149 billion), an increase of 16% year on year. Other than the ‘Big Four’ (Amazon, FedEx, UPS and DHL), other carriers saw volume growth increase by 94% as the major carriers hit peak capacity.

Per capita volumes of parcels grew from 62 to 65 units, or 166 parcels per household over the year.

“Last year saw the industry rocked by outside influences as carriers continued to manage the impact of the pandemic,” said Jason Dies, EVP and President Sending Technology Solutions, Pitney Bowes. “Despite these challenges, carrier revenues and parcel volumes reached a record high, showcasing the resiliency of the US consumer and the industry’s ability to absorb their growing appetite for internet retail.”

In 2022 there are signs of a global slowdown and shrinkage in parcel volumes, with many carriers showing signs of over-optimism in investing in staff and infrastructure during the pandemic. These figures are a snapshot of a very good year across the board, but only in the last 4-5 months as lockdowns have been lifted have we seen falls in volumes. As such the figures may well be out of date and the Pitney Bowes forecast of up to 40 billion parcels being delivered in 2027 may well be off the mark.

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