IPC: The postal industry continued to sustain growth in 2020

Pandemic-driven uplift in eCommerce volume continues to drive postal industry growth, according to the IPC Global Postal Industry Report 2021 Key Findings.

Holger Winklbauer, CEO of IPC states: Posts around the world have rapidly responded to the huge increase in e-commerce volumes throughout the pandemic. As a result, the postal industry continued to sustain growth in 2020 despite accelerating mail volume declines. As demand for eCommerce delivery remains strong, preliminary results for 2021 show that posts continue to benefit from higher packet and parcel volumes.

Uplift in eCommerce drives industry growth in 2020

On aggregate, total postal industry revenue reached €442.6bn in 2020, up €20.5bn on 2019 results. The pandemic-driven uplift in eCommerce was the engine of industry growth as rocketing volumes saw parcel revenue rise €19.3bn. In contrast, mail revenue fell €6.1bn as lockdowns saw business activity slow and e-substitution accelerate. Across the 53 posts analysed, revenue increased by 1.4% on average, down from 5.5% a year earlier, but social distancing and other pandemic-related challenges pressured profitability.

Parcels volume and revenue increase strongly

With lockdowns driving up demand for B2C delivery worldwide, parcels volume growth accelerated to 15.3% on  average in 2020. Most posts reported growth rates well above 10% for the year, while others, particularly those in emerging markets, saw parcel volumes fall as delivery operations were hampered by the pandemic. Meanwhile, many posts report increasing competition in their domestic parcel markets. Parcels revenue was up 21% on average and parcels now represent the majority of total revenue for some operators.