Postal & Courier Activities in the UK Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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The UK Postal & Courier Activities industry has reached a juncture. The technical change unleashed by the internet has caused mail volumes to decrease and demand for parcels to grow. Due to regulatory change, the industry has the opportunity to reinvent itself. With the largest player bound by network commitments and increasing competition, the profitable way forward remains unclear. Revenue has declined in the five years through 2012-13 at an annualised rate of 1.6%. In the current year, revenue is expected to fall further, by 1.9% to £15.3 billion. The outlook for the industry remains uncertain, with the privatisation of Royal Mail plc a possibility. In the coming years the industry is expected to consolidate around profitable mail markets and products as it expands parcel services. This combination of stabilisation and growth is expected to halt the slide in industry revenue despite ongoing declines in mail volumes. The industry is forecast to return to modest growth in the five years through 2017-18. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Postal & Courier Activities industry.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

The internet is proving to be both a blessing and curse for the industry

The UK Postal & Courier Activities industry has reached a juncture. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Caroline Finch, “the technical change unleashed by the internet has caused mail volumes to decrease and demand for parcels to grow”. Due to regulatory change, the industry has the opportunity to reinvent itself. With the largest player bound by network commitments and increasing competition, the profitable way forward remains unclear. Revenue has declined in the five years through 2012-13 at an annualised rate of 1.6%. In the current year, revenue is expected to fall further, by 1.9% to £15.3 billion.

The postal segment underwent a major change in 2006, when the industry was opened to full competition. Prior to this, only certain parts were open to competition. However, Royal Mail continues to be the only company working within the universal service obligation (USO), and continues to be the major player in the industry. The other main industry segment, courier activities, has far lower barriers to entry and has been able to adapt better to changing circumstances. Many courier providers have introduced information system devices, including user-friendly internet interfaces, to cater to parcel customers. Industry participants have also expanded logistics offerings and improved integration with customer supply chains.

The outlook for the industry remains uncertain, with the privatisation of Royal Mail plc a possibility. In the coming years the industry is expected to consolidate around profitable mail markets and products as it expands parcel services. Finch adds, “this combination of stabilisation and growth is expected to halt the slide in industry revenue despite ongoing declines in mail volumes”. The industry is forecast to return to modest growth in the five years through 2017-18.

Although the Postal & Courier Activities market was opened to full competition in 2006, Royal Mail continues to account for the largest share of industry revenue, at 53.8%. The industry is regarded as having a medium degree of market share concentration, with the top four players accounting for about 65% of industry revenue. Major companies include Royal Mail & UPS.

For more information on the Postal & Courier Activities industry, including latest industry trends, statistics, analysis and market share information, purchase the full report from IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research.

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry includes postal and courier services. It provides pickup, sorting, transport and delivery of letters and parcels by licensed and non-licensed postal operators and courier companies. It also includes the collection of letters and parcels from public letterboxes and post offices. The industry distributes advertising material, newspapers and periodicals, and it includes postal activities under the universal service obligation.
Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalisation & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld
Recognised as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on many UK industries. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in London, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organisations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.co.uk or call (020) 3008 6568.

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