Retailers shipping goods

Fueled by the growth of e-commerce in China, the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index report revealed that of the 13 countries reviewed for 2017, 2,300 parcels were shipped every second. And, on average, 22 parcels were shipped per person.

The countries included in the report were Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. The firm said global shipping rose 11 percent in 2017 to $279 billion. Pitney Bowes said unit volume swelled 17 percent to 74.4 billion parcels from 63.6 billion in 2016. Researchers at the company expect the number of parcels shipped to reach 100 billion by 2020.

From a regional perspective, the global technology company said China “once again reported the largest parcel volume growth at 28 percent year-over-year” and if the country was excluded from the index, “the global growth number drops from 17 percent to 6 percent.”

Lila Snyder, president of commerce services at Pitney Bowes, said China continues to “have the greatest impact on the growing shipping market in terms of absolute scale and growth.” Shipping volume includes parcels that are shipped as well as returns. Analysts at Invesp and Shorr Packaging estimate that return rates compose about 30 percent of all goods shipped.

“Globally, e-commerce continues to drive growth in all regions,” Snyder said. “Global e-commerce giants continue to raise the bar, resetting consumer expectations when it comes to shipping. As retailers and marketplaces race to keep up with increasing consumer expectations, carriers must create efficient, seamless services that deliver in a world of ‘fast and free’ e-commerce shipping.”

In regard to the top three shipping volumes by country, China’s total is about three times the size of what’s shipped in the U.S. — 40.1 billion versus 11.9 billion. Japan’s volume of 9.6 billion places it third. “China’s parcel shipments represent 53 percent of the total shipments in the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index,” the firm added.