The IPC Global Postal Industry Report released today indicates that the postal industry is on track for future growth.

In 2017, the sector recorded 2.6% revenue growth, with an acceleration in the first half of 2018 through an increase of 4.6% year-on-year. Ongoing e-substitution and e-commerce growth continued to widen the performance gap across business units, with revenue down 2.3% for mail and up 11.0% for parcels. Profitability remained strong for both divisions, with efficiency initiatives, network optimisation and capacity investment set to continue in the years ahead.

Holger Winklbauer, CEO of IPC said: “E-commerce continues to fuel the industry. Posts are delivering more packets and parcels than ever before. While growth rates ranged widely, more than two thirds of posts saw stable or increasing revenues during the year and most cited parcels and express as a key growth driver.

“Digitisation remains the key driver of structural mail volume decline across the industry, though growth in small and lightweight e-commerce packets has helped ease the fall. In 2017, the average decline in mail volume slowed to 4.6% compared to 5.2% in 2016.”

Apart from mail, the three main sources of industry revenue are parcels and express, financial services and logistics and freight. While mail still represents over 40% of industry revenue, posts continue to pursue growth outside the core. Most are becoming more diversified: close to three quarters have seen their mail revenue share fall since 2012.

Postal operators are also seeking growth opportunities abroad. For posts with international segments defined as either revenue generated by subsidiaries abroad or from customers outside the domestic market, international revenue has increased over the past five years and in 2017 represented close to one quarter of total revenue on average, though shares ranged widely across operators. Most posts have grown international revenue since 2012, with five achieving average annual growth above 10%.

The above insights are published today in IPC’s publicly available Key Findings report, which provides a distillation of data and analysis included in the full IPC Global Postal Industry Report 2018.

Published annually and now in its tenth edition, the full report covers 50  postal operators from Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and BRICS countries, as well as integrators UPS and FedEx. While aiming to deepen understanding about key trends shaping the postal industry, the report also benchmarks the performance of individual posts both against their peers and an industry average.

The full IPC Global Postal Industry Report is available for purchase by stakeholders outside the IPC membership.

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