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UK courier and express delivery spend hit £10.1bn in 2016

By Dan Wilson July 24, 2017 - 11:46 am

The value of the courier and express delivery market in the UK has topped £10bn for the first time, according to research from Mintel. That’s up £1 billion year on year. The British sent 2.8 billion packages in 2016. The volume of parcels has grown 65% since 2012 when 1.7 billion were sent.

And the market is set to continue with significant growth. Mintel predict in 2017 that the total will be £10.8 billion and continue to rise and reach £13.2 billion by 2021. In 2021, it’s forecast that four billion parcels will be sent by British consumers.

Marco Amasanti, business-to-business analyst at Mintel, said: “The crux of the recent surge in courier and express delivery services surrounds the ongoing digitalisation of all consumer behaviour, in which ecommerce is the apex.

As online channels continue to increase their grip across retailing, the industry is only expected to grow further as supply strives to match surging demand. Money previously spent in retail stores is now increasingly spent online, boosting business-to-consumer delivery demand not only through the initial purchase, but also through the return of goods bought online. The business-to-consumer sector, underlined by the rise in ecommerce will be key to future growth.”

A key driver is the customer need for speed. The value of next day deliveries reached £5.5 billion in 2016, up from £3.1 billion in 2012. Meanwhile same day deliveries have risen from £488 million in 2012 to £1 billion in 2016.

Amasanti adds: “Convenience, in particular the importance of saving time, has become key to consumer demand. It is clear that demand for convenient time windows is significantly more prevalent among younger Brits. Convenience has gradually pervaded these generations, and established itself as a norm and benchmark in the market. Operators that target a younger market must acknowledge these growing expectations, and shift focus onto customer service accordingly.”

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