How Many Packages Are Shipped Daily in the United States?
It’s hard to imagine a time when package delivery was strictly done on foot and horseback. Pony Express, anyone? Nowadays, its practically instantaneous with a few clicks of a button. This just goes to show how technology and services have evolved and become faster and more convenient over the years. One of the pivotal events in the past that led us to where we are today happened in 1977, when air cargo deregulation was legislated and FedEx was able to establish an air-based system that made it possible to deliver small packages overnight throughout the country. Some 40 years later, more than 36 million packages are being delivered per day in the United States.
What seemed almost impossible and considered expensive decades ago is now a part of our everyday lives. Shipping packages throughout the mainland U.S. now happens at a significantly fast rate and in large volumes. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that being able to ship your products fast is a prerequisite for businesses to be successful today—especially when they’re trying to expand their reach beyond their local distribution channels.
E-commerce, of course, is at the forefront of this rapid growth in parcel delivery volumes. Consumers want their packages to be delivered quickly and safely to their doorsteps. This is the main reason why businesses today demand speedy and low-cost package shipping services to meet the needs of their customers. As a result, millions of packages are being shipped daily to American households at dizzying speeds.
Exponential Growth Year After Year
In 2018, a total of 13.5 billion packages were shipped in the United States. The next year, that number was up to 14.7 billion packages—an 8.9% year-on-year increase in parcel delivery volume.
In the last few weeks of 2020 alone, over 3 billion packages were shipped between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day in the U.S. That’s about 800 million more than last year. The pandemic certainly had an effect on this, but you can’t deny that the numbers are on an upward trend even before COVID-19 deterred people from going out to shop and small businesses switched to an eCommerce-centric strategy.
New Player in the Field of Packaging Delivery
The logistical challenges brought by the pandemic on top of the surge in online shopping has put so much pressure on retailers. But more so on delivery services such as the USPS, FedEx, and UPS.
This was an opportunity that Amazon didn’t pass up. 2020 was a year for the online retail giant to beef up its own delivery network: Amazon Logistics. The company hired 275,000 full-time and part-time workers and even added 100,000 seasonal workers last December to keep up with the increasing demand according to a report by the New York Times. As of now, Amazon delivers at least 67% of its own package volume. Their next goal is to bump up that figure to 85% by the end of 2022.
To show how much Amazon Logistics has grown in the last few years, the company delivered 1.9 billion packages in the United States in 2019—which is a 155% year-on-year growth when compared to its parcel delivery volume in 2018. This netted Amazon with over 53.7 billion U.S. dollars in revenue worldwide.
It’s exciting to imagine what the future holds for packaging. Will Amazon’s drone deliveries be the norm rather than the exception? Will forwarders find even more ways to make the shipping faster and more streamlined? Only time will tell.