B2C takes 60.3% of the global express market in 2021

The 2021 global express and small parcels market was driven by strong domestic and cross-border e-commerce sales, but growth is set to slow, warn analysts from transport consultancy Ti, in latest research report – Global Express and Small Parcels 2022.

The global express and small parcels market grew by 12.2% y-o-y in 2021, with the B2C segment accounting for over half of the market’s value. The latest report from Ti –  the leading provider of market research to the global logistics industry – shows that market value growth slowed only slightly in 2021 as lockdown restrictions eased and more people returned to physical stores, remaining above pre-pandemic growth rates.

The Global Express and Small Parcels Report  ̶   written by industry researchers, analysts and associates  ̶  is one of several reports published each year by the Ti team, utilising data from its GSCI knowledge portal, a data powerhouse with over 1m pieces of data and analysis.

The report takes an in-depth look at the core trends influencing the market, such as GDP and e-commerce growth, sustainability trends, PUDO network growth and the saturation of last-mile start-ups.

Report Highlights:

  • In 2021, six out of seven regions saw double-digit express market growth. Asia Pacific and North America outpaced global growth, with Asia Pacific remaining the largest express market.
  • The B2C segment dominates the express market globally and in all three of the major regions. Ti expects the B2C segment to represent 65.9% of the express and small parcels market by 2026.
  • The integrators dominate the global parcels market. UPS is the market leader in terms of revenues, with €67.5bn of parcels-related revenue. In 2021, carriers continued to see strong growth in terms of parcel revenue, even after Covid restrictions were lifted.
  • Parcel shops and lockers have grown significantly in recent years. It is estimated that there are more than 1.8m pudo locations globally of which 1.2m are parcel shops. Pudo networks continue to be expanded and new networks are being rolled out in most countries. A high percentage of the global population are now within a short distance of one or more pudo locations. 
  • The global express market is expected to grow at a slower pace in 2022 (9% y-o-y) than in 2021 however, reaching a market value of €503,534m. This trend is present across both the international and domestic segments, with both expected to see slower single-digit growth rates in 2022 (International: 8.3% y-o-y; Domestic: 9.1% y-o-y).
  • Persistent macroeconomic trends such as intensifying inflation challenges, the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, high energy prices, continued supply chain disruptions, and fresh lockdowns in China are expected to set the global economy on a downward trajectory in the coming year, with World Trade Organisation economists reassessing world trade projections over the next two years.

The full report – available here – also provides a snapshot of last-mile provider profiles, as well as market forecasts.

Nia Hudson, one of Ti’s Research Analysts, said “strong demand from the retail e-commerce sector, paired with recovering GDP, helped fuel growth in the express market during 2021. However, the market now faces several headwinds. This includes persistent macroeconomic trends such as intensifying inflation challenges, the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, high energy prices, continued supply chain disruption, and fresh lockdowns in China, which are expected to set the global economy on a downward trajectory over the next year.”

To download the full report, which examines the retail market for logistics providers and includes performance analysis of the providers leading the market visit: https://www.ti-insight.com/product/global-express-small-parcels




– 2021 market sizes, 2022 growth rates and 2026 forecasts split by region, country, domestic, international and for the first time, B2B and B2C

– Market segmentation – domestic vs international and B2B v B2C

– Market trend analysis including e-commerce growth, sustainability trends, electric vans expansion, PUDO growth and last-mile start-ups

– GDP growth and forecasts, split by region

– Competitive analysis – revenues, parcel volumes and parcel yield

– Express provider profiles and comparative reviews