Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you will have noticed that the amount of available courier work has continued to grow. If you’re wondering what has caused this considerable increase, you’ll be interested in a recent study by the global technology company Pitney Bowes.
According to the Pitney Bowes’ Parcel Shipping Index, the amount of parcel deliveries has increased by a staggering 12% last year, amounting to a total of 2.5 billion parcels. All of this activity was caused by an 8% increase in spending, resulting in a record of £10 billion over this 12-month period.
Research Into Delivery Growth
According to Pitney Bowes, this vast growth is not a domestic blip. Instead, it reflects an international growth in deliveries of 48% over the last two years. What’s more, this increase in courier work is not something that’s likely to end any time soon. The Index predicts a growth of 20% in parcel deliveries every year from 2017 to 2021.
The Cause Of Delivery Growth
If you’re already involved in courier work, you’ll know that much of the traffic – 42%, to be exact – is a result of online shopping. As a nation, we in the UK have embraced online shopping whole-heartedly.
Recent research conducted by Whistl suggested that the average British consumer not only shops regularly from their computers, but also indulges in online impulse buying. The research found that many of us spend as much as £47.84 a month on spontaneous buying, with clothes being the most likely purchase, followed by food and drink, home accessories and shoes.
At the moment, the majority of this business-to-consumer work is divided between the big guns in the delivery sector: Royal Mail (47%), Hermes (11%) and Yodel (8%). But Pitney Bowes warns that more and more large retailers are following the Amazon model of managing their own logistics in-house.
What The Future Will Bring
While all of this sounds like great news for drivers who carry out courier work, Ryan Higginson, the Vice President and UK country leader at Pitney Bowes, sounds a note of caution. He believes that the increased demand will result in retailers and other online suppliers changing their delivery model, thereby putting greater demands on delivery services.
“As the UK sees a surge in parcel deliveries, consumers can expect a huge shake-up in last-mile delivery services. If parcel volumes continue to grow at this year’s rate, we could be sending 3.9 billion parcels by 2021,” Higginson predicted.
While it will be a while before drivers are replaced by drones, changes in the market, such as the increased workload, will surely cause the courier industry to evolve and adjust to customers’ rising demands in the years to come.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.