Cross-border parcel delivery services 2020



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Executive Summary

In 2020, parcels up 25.8% and revenues up 25.6% due to pandemic

In 2020, the number of parcels processed in the postal networks of the main parcel service providers in Portugal increased by 25.8%, with turnover increasing by 25.6%.

The most significant growth was in incoming international parcels whose traffic increased by 38.8%, followed by domestic parcels (+23.7%) and outgoing international parcels (+14.7%).

The growth rates recorded were significantly higher than in the previous year. This acceleration in the growth of parcel traffic is associated with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In effect, e-commerce experienced the largest increase in recent years, reflecting the lockdown of the population and the closure of commercial establishments. In 2020, nearly 45% of individuals reported having used e-commerce in the last 12 months, 5.8 p.p. more than in 2019.

International parcels represented 33.2% of traffic and 49.5% of revenues

Of the total number of parcels, 66.8% were domestic parcels, 22.9% originated from other countries (inbound international parcels) and 10.3% originated in Portugal and were sent abroad (outbound international parcels). In total, international parcels accounted for 33.2% of traffic.

On the other hand, 50.5% of the parcel revenue of the main providers in Portugal was generated by domestic parcels, 17.6% by incoming international parcels and 31.9% by outgoing international parcels. In other words, international parcels accounted for 49.5% of the turnover of this service.

European Economic Area was the origin or destination of 31.0% of parcels and generated 39.0% of revenues

Around 96.6% of the international parcels received in Portugal and 86.6% of outgoing international parcels originated from or were bound for countries within the European Economic Area (EEA).

When considering all international parcels (incoming and outgoing parcels) the EEA was the origin or destination for 93.5% of international parcels and 31.0% of total traffic.

EEA countries represented 89.2% of the turnover of international parcels received and 73.1% of the turnover of international parcels sent. In total, the EEA represented 78.8% of the turnover of international parcels and 39.0% of the total turnover of this service.

Unit revenue of parcels was 5.17 euros

In 2020, the average revenue per parcel was 5.17 euros, a decrease of 0.2% over the previous year. Unit revenue from domestic parcels was the lowest (€3.91), followed by unit revenue from inbound international parcels (€3.98), and outbound international orders (€15.96).

Compared with the previous year, unit revenue of domestic parcels increased by 9.5% and unit revenue of inbound international parcels and outbound international parcels decreased by 4.9% and 4.2% respectively.

The unit revenue of extra-EEA traffic was 3.5 and 2.4 times higher than the revenue of traffic from or to the EEA respectively. Unit revenue for international parcels received from the EEA was 2% higher than unit revenue for domestic parcels.

Total number of workers increased by 3%, while temporary workers increased by 34.3%

In 2020, the number of workers associated (not exclusively) with the provision of parcel delivery services increased by 3.0%. The number of temporary workers increased by 34.3%, while the number of part-time workers increased by 6.2%, and the number of full-time workers decreased by 0.6%.

The number of full-time workers accounted for 84.5% of the total, while part-time and temporary workers accounted for 2.7% and 12.8% respectively.

83.2% of the subcontracted companies delivered parcels

In 2020, 8 parcel delivery service providers subcontracted 661 companies. Most of the subcontracted companies were involved in parcel delivery (83.2%) and parcel transport (25.4%).