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UK courier and express delivery market hits 12.6 billion pounds

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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The continued growth of online shopping with British consumers has seen the courier and express delivery market record double-digit growth, according to the latest research from Mintel.

Last year, courier and express delivery sales increased by 12 percent to 12.6 billion pounds, marking growth of 62 percent since 2014. Meanwhile, volume sales increased by 14 percent alone in 2018 and 66 percent between 2014 and 2018.

Mintel is predicting that over the next five years, the market will continue to post “first-class sales” with volumes forecast to maintain double-digit yearly growth, rising by 54 percent between 2019 and 2023, surpassing value sales, which are forecast to grow by 42 percent over the same five year period.

In 2018, the research adds that Brits sent 3.65 billion packages, up from 3.2 billion in 2017, and the three main reasons why British consumers have products delivered as opposed to shopping in-store, is cost (53 percent), ease of finding products online (51 percent) and greater variety (39 percent).

Marco Amasanti, retail analyst at Mintel, said in a statement: “The courier and express delivery market is booming, much of which is underpinned by surging online retail sales. However, the marketplace remains hugely competitive, marked by slim margins and a growing expectation to provide more for less.

“Looking forward, rising demand for delivery subscriptions brings added pressures; particularly the growing amount of returns, which require extra processing, storage and logistics. However, for those who remain in the market, the future looks bright. Major players should further consolidate, given continued value and volume growth; both of which show little sign of abating as online retail appears far from reaching its ceiling.”