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Largest UK courier: Amazon Logistics says Pitney Bowes Shipping Index

By Chris Dawson September 28, 2021 - 3:30 pm

Pitney Bowes today released the new Parcel Shipping Index featuring 2020 data from 13 major markets around the world with Amazon revealed to be the the largest UK courier.

The Index finds global parcel volume reached 131.2 billion in 2020, equating to 4160 parcels shipped per second – an increase of 27 percent year-over-year. 34 parcels were generated per person, on average. Looking ahead, the Index estimates parcel volume could reach 232 billion or as high as 303 billion by 2026. The most likely outcome is that parcel volume will double in the next five years to reach 266 billion in 2026 with an 11 percent CAGR from 2021-26.

Largest UK courier

As has previously been the case, Amazon Logistics are firmly ensconced as the largest UK courier with only the national postal provider, the Royal Mail shipping higher parcel volumes. As the largest UK courier, Amazon Logistics have a 15% parcel market share, by volume with Hermes next at 12%. Royal Mail as a postal provider retain the highest overall carrier spot with 34% parcel market share by volume.

Interestingly, revenue per parcel increased for the first time since 2016 so not only did parcel volumes grow 33% in 2020 but businesses should have been more profitable, although this may well be tempered by the Covid safe precautions they had to implement.

Key UK parcel volume and revenue findings

  • 5 billion parcels were generated in the UK, up 33% from 3.8 billion in 2019
  • 160 parcels were generated every second, or around 14 million each day
  • The UK generated the highest parcels per capita in the Index at 74, an increase from 56 in 2019
  • Prior to the pandemic, volume grew by an average of 8%. In 2020 the growth rate more than quadrupled from the previous year, from 7% y-o-y growth in 2019 to 33% in 2020
  • The UK saw the highest increase in carrier revenue of all 13 countries in the Index, up 37% to $22.2 billion (£17 billion)
  • Revenue per parcel increased for the first time since 2016, reaching $4.40
  • The top five carriers in the UK account for 76% of UK parcel shipments by volume
  • Forecast anticipates UK parcel volume to rise to 5.4 – 6 billion in 2021 – 10-14 percent year-over-year growth – and is expected to reach 7.5-8.5 billion in 2026

Key Shipping Index UK carrier stats

  • Hermes saw the biggest increase in market share by revenue from 6% to 11% of the market and by volume from 10% to 12%
  • Amazon Logistics grew market share by revenue 9% to 11%
  • DPD grew market share by revenue from 8% to 10%
  • Royal Mail’s market share increased 1 percentage point by revenue and declined 1 percentage point by volume
  • By revenue, Amazon Logistics generated the highest growth from 2014-2020 at 10 percentage points as well as retaining their spot as the largest UK courier (excluding postal providers)

The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, now in its sixth year, reveals parcel volume increased across all regions in 2020 with the exception of India. China remains the largest market by volume, with parcel numbers reaching 83.4 billion in 2020 or 2643 parcels shipped every second. Based on forecasts from Pitney Bowes, China is expected to become the first country in the Index to reach 100 billion parcels by volume in one year, which is likely to happen in 2021. 2020 was the first year US parcel volume increased at a faster rate than China since the inception of the Shipping Index.

Carrier parcel revenue increased across all 13 countries in 2020, collectively reaching $429.5 billion, up 22 percent since 2019. The US remains the market with the highest carrier revenue of all regions in the Index. Countries including the US, Brazil and Australia saw their more established carriers lose market share to competitors.

You can read the full Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index here.

  • Liam
    4 weeks ago

    Ermm, your title is misleading as in your article you actually say that Royal Mail is the largest.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Hey Liam, Royal Mail, UK Post etc are postal carriers, not couriers

  • Steven
    4 weeks ago

    Couriers deliver letters and parcels. Royal Mail deliver letters and parcels. For example passports are not delivered by Royal mail. They are classes as letter size. Royal Mail is a courier. Go there for a bag of Chips and see what happens!

  • Patrick
    4 weeks ago

    Funny that seeing as Royal Mail have been handling increased amounts of Amazon traffic for the last two months. With this week it going through roof at Royal Mail depots

  • James
    4 weeks ago

    Royal Mail will die out soon as Amazon pulls its postal volume

  • Paul Monks
    4 weeks ago

    Amazon cannot cope and passes its excess to Royal Mail

  • Peter Knight
    4 weeks ago

    Last year, for the first time in it’s history, Royal Mail delivered more parcels than letters.
    Every night I’m moving vast amounts of Amazon packages around the country on a Royal Mail truck. Royal Mail has the largest transport fleet in the country!

  • Alan Peterson
    4 weeks ago

    Amazon to acquire Royal Mail. Its only a matter of time…..tick…tock…tick…tock…doom!

  • william mccormack
    4 weeks ago

    Amazon don’t have the Universal Service order (USO) that specifies Royal Mail MUST deliver to every house in the UK 6 days a week to contend with . So for rural parcels that are not cost effective to deliver they pass them onto RM

  • 3 weeks ago

    The USPS best way to manage local shipment all over the country but for shipping from chaina the international sea is best.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Royal Mail would do everyone a favor if their post taff actually scanned every packet that has a brcodes/qpr code, but still simply drop into letterbox, unscanned.

    Cost us hundreds of claims aand thousands of £ the last two years…..i

  • R
    3 weeks ago

    the rows of hundreds of new, amazon prime transit vans ,that are sitting on vehicle storage areas
    are not for show

  • ID
    1 week ago

    The Pitney Bowes report is based on PARCEL volumes, so how can you discount Royal Mail etc as they also deliver post????

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