Postal sector

Postal activities and related markets in France

Strong growth for the (especially international) parcel market

Today Arcep is publishing its scoreboard for postal activities and related markets in 2017

In terms of item numbers: the postal market’s ongoing structural decline was confirmed in 2017, despite an increase in the volume of parcel deliveries.

  • A total 12.1 billion postal items were addressed by authorised operators in 2017, including those distributed in France or exported.
  • The structural decline in the number of postal items being handled continued at the same pace as in the five previous years. It is being driven chiefly by a decrease in the volume of mail being delivered in France, which accounts for 85% of all addressed postal items.
  • By contrast, the volume of parcels delivered in France increased by 15% YoY for the second year in a row, sustained chiefly by an increase in parcels containing small items, notably those coming from Asia.

In terms of revenue: the decrease in the postal market’s value was less dramatic in 2017, for cyclical reasons

  • The revenue generated by the delivery of addressed items represented 10.3 billion euros in 2017. It decreased at half the rate it did in 2016 (-0.7% in 2017 compared to -1.3% in 2016), for the following reasons:
  • First, the increase in the price of universal service products (+3.3% on average in 2017) which made its possible to offset in terms of value the structural decline in postal volumes.
  • Second, the presidential and legislative elections in France generated additional revenue compared to 2016: the decease in revenue for the market for registered postal items (excluding items of correspondence) was 1.3 points less than the year before (-3.0% in 2017 compared to -4.3% one year earlier).
  • Third, an uptick in international business in the parcel market explains this lesser decrease to some extent. In 2017, the delivery of (non express) parcels by authorised operators in France generated close to 2 billion euros in revenue, which marks close to 8% growth YoY, with a rise in revenue from small imported parcels (+42% YoY) making a major contribution to this increase.