Survey reveals momentum towards premium products

A global survey of express users and carriers contained in Transport Intelligence’s (Ti) latest report, Global Express & Small Parcels 2017, has revealed a strong momentum towards the use of premium services by shippers driven not least by the increasing demands of e-commerce customers.
Shift from road to air
Firstly, when asked whether they were seeing a change in the mode used to move parcels, the largest proportion of respondents indicated that they were experiencing a net shift from road to air. According to the Ti analysts who compiled this report, this reflects the increasing time sensitivity of the sector and the rise of cross-border e-commerce.
More same-day deliveries
It also seems that express carriers will need to gear their operations up for more same-day deliveries. The survey indicated highest levels of growth will occur in the premium same day delivery segment of the market, followed by growth in next-day deliveries. Deferred, economy volumes were, however, expected to decline.
e-commerce drives the sector
Which sectors will offer the best prospects for volume growth? Ti’s survey suggests that e-commerce is by far and away the most important to the industry, a situation that will continue for the foreseeable future, with 75% of respondents selecting it as their first choice. E-commerce was followed by high tech and, interestingly, perishables. Given Amazon’s entry into this latter sector through its development of specialised packaging, this could become an even more important battleground for express carriers.
Ti’s CEO and a contributor to the report John Manners-Bell commented: “It seems that the time sensitivity being demanded by users of express parcels services is increasing in line with the ‘on-demand’ economy and driven by e-commerce. The shift to air is no doubt being reinforced by the stronger global economy, which is good news for international express players. What is not so good for the market leaders, however, is another finding of the survey that reveals the perception that conventional/legacy courier express and parcel providers will lose volume share to other parties such as Amazon or Alibaba.”

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