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Parcel prices: 6 euros per shipment – Now parcels are getting more expensive too

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Six euros per shipment: now packages are more expensive

Parcel deliverers can hardly keep up with the job Parcel deliverers can hardly keep up with the job

Parcel deliverers can hardly keep up with the job

Source: pa / Winfried Rothermel

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The largest study on German parcel services shows that the average revenue per shipment has risen to six euros. This applies not only to business mail, but also to private mailings. Deutsche Post has already announced a concrete price increase since July.

B.A turnaround is ahead in prices for package delivery – shipping online orders, for example, is becoming more expensive after several years of initially falling and then stagnant rates. This is one of the key findings of the largest industry study on parcel shipping services presented by the Federal Association of Parcel Logistics and Express Transportation (BIEK). Based on this, average parcel and express service revenue per shipment increased to € 5.97 last year.

The comparative value from 2020 was 5.81 euros. Since 2011, this average price, which parcel services charge online senders, for example, has steadily fallen from a whopping six euros and has remained virtually unchanged since 2017.

This price increase, which is documented by the data, refers to the year 2021, which is a period when the rate of price increase is still moderate. This means that a further price hike is expected in the current year if the inflation rate reaches record levels.

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The industry also sees the need to catch up. “Nominal growth is by no means sufficient to compensate for the price increases of recent years,” says the study. It is fitting that market leader Deutsche Post has announced a price increase for private parcel mailing for the most popular offers of around 20 cents starting in July.

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For many years, operators of large parcel services such as Hermes, DPD and GLS have complained about stiff price competition in their industry and the market power of dominant online mail order companies like Amazon. With an increase in productivity of around 2% per year, the parcel industry was able to absorb some of the increased costs. In part, the low hourly wages for package drivers were justified by low revenues per package shipment.

Customers experience higher prices

Now a turnaround seems to be happening, at least in terms of income per shipment. Many online retailers are likely to pass these price increases on to their customers and shoppers, or have already done so. Furthermore, the BIEK association defends itself against a “no shipping cost mentality” between online shoppers and senders.

Because the work of the parcel and express industry is now more in demand than ever: delivery services have delivered around one billion more items in the two years of the Corona pandemic. In just two years, the express delivery and parcel market has grown by about a quarter. Especially in the months of the lockdown and restrictions caused by the corona pandemic, significantly more households have ordered goods for daily consumption from online retailers.

Source: Victor / Getty Images; WELT infographics

But not only in private parcels, there has also been a growth in previously declining shipments of parcels between business addresses. A total of 4.5 billion deliveries were made last year, which corresponds to an 11% increase over the previous year. The growth in turnover was even higher: the revenues of the delivery companies increased by a good 14 percent to almost 27 billion euros. The gap between volume growth and sales growth reflects the price increases mentioned.

The situation for couriers is currently clouded. According to their own statements, companies are suffering the consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and uncertainty in families about future burdens. “The consequences of the war cannot be calculated at the moment. Together with other factors of uncertainty, this makes forecasts for the development of the market in the coming years extremely difficult, “said Marten Bosselmann, president of BIEK. The inflation rate of almost 8% is also leading to a reluctance to purchase.

The association speaks of “demand shock”. It is therefore not possible to make a reliable forecast for the current year. A “lateral movement”, ie a stagnation of the shipping volume, is also conceivable.

However, the size is impressive: 15 million parcels are delivered to nine million recipients every working day in Germany. The percentage of deliveries to private households is 59%. Another 37% of shipments are sent between business addresses. Only four percent of parcels are sent by private customers to private addresses.

12 euros per hour is no longer enough for candidates

In order to cope with this, parcel services created around 11,000 jobs last year. By 2026, companies expect to need an additional 50,000 workers. The minimum wage of twelve euros per hour will also apply to the parcel industry from October. “This is a statutory salary and is also implemented by our companies,” said the head of the Bosselmann association. The association supports controls, such as customs, on compliance with wage levels. This is particularly the case for so-called subcontractors.

The sector’s job market has become an employee market. “We are fighting for talent and for employees,” said the association’s lobbyist. In many regions of the country it is difficult to find workers with an hourly wage of twelve euros.

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