U.S. parcel volume declined 2% in 2022, offsetting a 6% rise in 2021 and a record 33% surge in 2020, according to new figures from shipping and mailing company Pitney Bowes Inc.
Counting individual packages, U.S. parcel volume was 21.2 billion in 2022, down from 21.7 billion in 2021. Per capita parcel volume for the U.S. likewise declined from 65 to 64 with an average of 162 parcels shipped per U.S. household during 2022.
Despite the dip, carriers did just fine in their financial results, with revenues totaling $198 billion, an increase of 6.5% from $186 billion in 2021, the company said in its latest “Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index.”
Broken out by carrier, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) shipped 6.7 billion parcels in 2022 down from 7 billion in 2021; UPS shipped 5.2 billion parcels in 2022, down from 5.3 billion; Amazon Logistics kept its parcel volume at the 2021 level of 4.8 billion, and FedEx shipped 4.1 billion, down from 4.3 billion. Outside the top four, the combined parcel volume from smaller carriers did much better, growing by 25%.
By revenue, UPS generated the highest carrier revenue with $73 billion, followed by FedEx ($65 billion), USPS ($31 billion), Amazon Logistics ($24 billion), and the combined revenue from smaller carriers reaching $4 billion.
Looking into the future, Pitney Bowes forecasts that parcel volume will rebound reliably in coming years, hitting 28 billion by 2028.
"Amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, carriers showed commendable resilience, a testament to the carriers' ability to adapt," Shemin Nurmohamed, President of Sending Technology Solutions at Pitney Bowes, said in a release. "The industry's record-breaking revenues showcases its capacity to meet and overcome the challenges presented to brands as economic challenges mount and consumer behavior continues to shift.”