Pitney Bowes says China generated 108 billion parcels in 2021, making it the first country to exceed 100 billion parcels within one year.

Global parcel volume will most likely reach 256 billion by 2027, according to data released by Pitney Bowes Inc. That would represent an 8.5% cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2022-2027.

Pitney Bowes’ research anticipates parcel volume growth rates in the low single digits in 2023 and return to mid-to-high single digits in 2024.

Parcel volume and ecommerce diverge

“Ecommerce is the top driver of parcel volume growth,” says Brett Cody, director of communications for global ecommerce at  Pitney Bowes. “In the U.S., historically, ecommerce sales growth has been a leading indicator of parcel volume growth with both growth rates closely aligned.”


But that’s changing, Cody says, as omnichannel delivery options, such as curbside pickup, become more popular.

“While there is still a strong correlation between ecommerce sales and parcel volume, in 2020, we started observing a divergence between the two. Early in the pandemic, this was due in part to increases in non-delivery ecommerce, like curbside pickup and more recently due to inflation. In 2022, the growth rates have started to converge again, but the gap remains wide,” Cody added.

Pitney Bowes is a supplier of logistics technology and financial services.

More Pitney Bowes’ 2021 data

Pitney Bowes’ Parcel Shipping Index features 2021 data from 13 major global markets. In the markets Pitney Bowes studied, total parcel volume reached 159 billion in 2021, up 21% from 131 billion in 2020. Total carrier revenue last year reached $491.5 billion. That’s up 17% from $420 billion in 2020.


The United States also had the highest carrier revenue among the countries studied, at $188 billion, up 16% from 2020, Pitney Bowes says.

The U.S., Pitney Bowes says, generated 21 billion packages that year.

For perspective, that translated to:

  • 683 packages per second ;
  • 59 million parcels per day ;
  • 65 packages per person; and
  • 166 parcels per household.

All countries reported double-digit carrier revenue growth except Japan. France generated the highest revenue per package at $9.63. The average revenue per parcel across all 13 countries was $3.

Pitney Bowes says that China, the U.S. and Japan represented 87% of global package volume and 77% of global parcel revenue in 2021. At 33%, Sweden had the highest year-over-year parcel growth, followed by China (30%) and Brazil (20%).


Researchers found that China generated more parcels than the rest of those markets combined in 2021. The data show that China generated 108 billion parcels in 2021, making it the first country to exceed 100 billion packages within one year. That number was up 30% from the 83 billion packages China generated in 2020 and almost 68% of global package volume.

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