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Postal sector remains on track for future growth

Slowing global economic growth, steadily increasing digitisation and rapid growth in e-commerce, especially cross-border purchases, continue to present both opportunities and challenges for the global postal industry. Despite ongoing mail volume decline, industry revenue and profitability remain strong as postal operators focus on growth and efficiency initiatives.

The IPC Global Postal Industry Report’s Key Findings released today highlights a positive outlook for the postal industry for 2016. Following the growth trend of 2015, revenue increased in the first half of 2016 (H1 2016) by 1.5%. At the business unit level in H1 2016, revenue returned to growth on average for mail (0.5%) but slowed for parcels (2.8%) compared to the same period in 2015 (7.1%). Operating margins remained robust for both divisions.

Holger Winklbauer, CEO of IPC said: “As e-commerce continues to be the most important growth driver in parcels and as tech-savvy consumers require transparent, fast, cheap and convenient deliveries, posts are facing a world of opportunity. Posts have diversified a lot and pursued growth in markets like parcel and express and financial services. Even if the share of mail in overall revenue is decreasing, it is still significant and remains a major focus of postal innovation and investment.”

E-commerce and digitisation continue to drive change – growth potential for posts remains 

By 2020, more than half the world’s population will use the internet, though the digital divide will still remain wide. Governments are looking to address this disparity by increasing coverage and speed while reducing access costs, particularly in more remote regions.

Digital technology and mobile connectivity have changed how consumers and businesses interact, particularly in the buying and selling of goods and services. As a result, online shopping is booming: global internet retail sales have grown by more than 20% a year on average since 2005.

Winklbauer continues: “The postal industry’s parcel volume more than doubled over the last decade, growing at a rate far above economic growth. Parcel volume growth in 2015 accelerated to 7.2% on average – more than double that of world GDP (3.1%). However, in line with the continuously increasing online sales, a large opportunity remains for postal operators.”

The above insights are published today in IPC’s new publicly available report: the IPC 2016 Key Findings. The full IPC Global Postal Industry Report is published yearly and provides a comprehensive and detailed review of industry trends and operator performance.

Covering 45 postal operators worldwide along with major integrators, the report includes a broad range of analyses across key areas such as digitisation, e-commerce and diversification, along with insights into emerging industry trends including last-mile innovation. The full IPC Global Postal Industry Report is available for purchase by stakeholders outside the IPC membership.

By International Post Corporation

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