159 billion parcels shipped globally in 2021

After a record increase of 27% YoY in 2020, global parcel volume increased again by 21% in 2021


The importance of eCommerce in consumer realities is continuously rising. In certain product categories, online sales already represent half of total global retail revenue in 2021, according to the Statista Digital Market Outlook. And for most product categories, online revenue shares are expected to increase by double-digit rates over the next few years. For consumer electronics, for example, this means an online revenue share of 60% by 2025. But even categories like furniture, with a lot of bulky items which are not always easy to ship, an online share of 36% is expected for 2025, according to the Statista Digital Market Outlook. Speaking of shipping, the rising importance of eCommerce can not only be measured on the basis of increasing revenues or a rising online share in total revenue, parcel shipments are also a useful indicator. The global shipping and mailing company Pitney Bowes regularly publishes the Parcel Shipping Index, analyzing the parcel shipment activities of close to 4 billion people in 13 countries globally. According to the Parcel Shipping Index 2021, parcel volumes have never been higher:

159 billion parcels shipped globally in 2021_final

The total number of parcels shipped worldwide have reached a record high in 2021. A total of 159 billion shipments were concluded across the globe in 2021. This is a 21% increase from 2020, when 131 billion deliveries were made globally. In revenue terms, parcel companies have also seen a significant increase. Total global parcel revenue reached US$491 billion, which is 17% above the 2020 revenue levels. Parcel volumes had gone up steadily since 2014, but with a peak increase in 2020, the first corona year. Parcel volumes then increased by 27% year-on-year. Pitney Bowes’ calculations also result in more breath-taking facts: The 159 billion parcels delivered in total in 2021 mean that 5,000 packages were shipped per second. For 2027, the shipping company expects global parcel volumes to hit 256 billion, which would be almost twice as much as in the highly pandemic influenced year 2020. Therefore, corona seems to have a sustainable impact on people’s shopping behavior and thus also parcel volumes across the globe.

Visit our news area for additional content around the topic of eCommerce.

October 2022

Weekly eCommerce insights

The ecommerceDB newsletter