The Booming Package Shipping Industry

The package shipping industry in the United States has seen exponential growth in recent years. With the rise of e-commerce and same-day delivery options, consumers are having more items shipped to their homes than ever before.

Billions of Packages Shipped Annually

It is estimated that over 5 billion packages were shipped in 2020 alone within the US. This number has more than doubled from just over 2 billion packages shipped in 2010. The trends suggest this number will continue climbing higher each year as online shopping becomes even more prevalent.

Market Leaders Seeing Enormous Volume

The major players in package delivery see massive shipment volumes. UPS delivered over 1.9 billion packages in the 2020 holiday season and projected nearly 2.2 billion packages during 2021’s holidays. FedEx shipped over 700 million items between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2020. Even the US Postal Service delivered 850 million packages in 2020’s final quarter alone.

Opportunities for Small Businesses

This boom in package shipping presents opportunities for small businesses as well. Many independent shops are now offering shipping and fulfilment services to online sellers. Printed Goods is here to help your business with all your packaging and shipping needs.

The Scale of Package Shipping in the US

The package shipping industry in the United States handles an enormous volume each year. According to the latest data from the United States Postal Service and private carriers like FedEx and UPS, the estimated number of packages shipped annually in the US is:

Over 6 billion packages – That’s over 16 million packages shipped every single day across the country. The growth in e-commerce and demand for fast shipping has led to tremendous increases in package volumes in recent years.

Residential Deliveries

A large portion of packages are shipped to residential homes rather than commercial businesses. It’s estimated that over 4 billion packages are delivered to residential addresses in the US each year. This represents a massive logistical challenge for carriers to ensure on-time delivery to millions of different locations.

Growth of E-Commerce

E-commerce is a major driver of the increase in package shipping volumes. As more shopping moves online, the number of items being shipped directly to consumers is growing substantially each year. One estimate shows that over 50% of all parcel volume is a direct result of the growth in online shopping and marketplace platforms. This trend is expected to continue increasing package shipping needs.

How Carriers Handle the Volume

To efficiently process and deliver such immense volumes of packages, carriers have invested heavily in automation, facilities, vehicles and personnel:

Sortation Systems

High-tech package sorting systems are utilised that can process thousands of packages per hour. Sophisticated barcode scanners and conveyor belts rapidly route packages for transport.

Hub and Spoke Networks

Carriers operate networks of regional and local sorting hubs. Packages are consolidated and transferred between hubs before final delivery to optimise routes and capacities.

Delivery Fleet

From trucks to vans to other vehicles, carriers continually expand and upgrade their fleets to accommodate more packages per route. Alternative delivery methods like drones are also being tested.

Challenges of Shipping at Scale

While carriers have dramatically increased their capabilities, maintaining service levels during peak seasons or unexpected surge volumes presents difficulties:

Seasonal Fluctuations

Holiday periods like Christmas bring 50%+ increases in packages. Ensuring sufficient labour and capacity for these short periods is an ongoing tactical challenge.

Delivery Density

Densely populated urban and inner-suburban areas require innovative solutions to parking, traffic congestion and multi-residential building access issues.

Data and Tracking

Reliably tracking millions of individual packages daily and providing customer-facing tracking and estimated delivery updates at scale comes with technical complexities.

Learn More About Our Services

As an established leader in shipping and logistics, we can provide discounted rates with major carriers. Our team handles packaging, labelling, tracking and more to make shipping seamless. Contact us today to discuss how we can help get your products delivered efficiently and cost-effectively.

Package shipping has truly exploded in the United States in line with the growth of e-commerce and on-demand delivery trends. Major shippers are handling record volumes yearly. This expanding industry serves as an opportunity for businesses like Printed Goods to offer valuable fulfilment and shipping solutions. Reach out to learn more about how we can make shipping effortless for your business.