The courier, express, and parcel sector in Germany, commonly referred to as KEP, experienced a challenging year in 2022. As reported by the German Parcel and Express Logistics Association (BIEK) in its KEP Study 2023, the industry faced a significant decline in package volume and revenue compared to the peak year of 2021. However, amidst these turbulent times, there are signs of resilience and a positive outlook for the future. In this blog post, we will explore the key insights from the study and shed light on the factors that influenced the sector’s performance in 2022.
1. Package Volume Decline:
In 2022, the KEP sector in Germany witnessed a noteworthy decline in package volume, with 360 million fewer packages delivered compared to the peak year of 2021. This decline translates to a 7.9 percent decrease in package volume, which can primarily be attributed to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. As consumer willingness to spend decreased and a shift from online to offline retail sales occurred, the demand for package deliveries diminished.
2. Revenue Impact:
Although the sector experienced a decline in package volume, the decrease in revenue was less pronounced. The total income generated by the KEP sector reached approximately 26 billion euros in 2022, reflecting a 3.5 percent decrease compared to 2021. This indicates that despite the challenges faced, the sector managed to mitigate the impact on its revenue to some extent.
3. B2C vs. B2B Market Performance:
The decline in package volume was particularly evident in the consumer market (B2C), where there was an 11 percent decrease. In contrast, the business package market (B2B) saw a 4 percent decline in volume. However, as the year progressed, there were signs of improvement, providing a more promising outlook for the future.
4. Employment and Job Creation:
The KEP sector continued to be a significant job engine and employer in Germany, employing 257,800 people directly in 2022. Although this represented a 3 percent decline compared to the previous year, it remained above the pre-coronavirus level, with an additional 13,200 employees. Additionally, the KEP industry indirectly supported nearly 570,000 jobs in Germany, highlighting its crucial role in the economy.
5. Future Growth and Outlook:
While uncertainties such as high inflation, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and supply chain issues cast a shadow of doubt on the growth of the KEP market in 2023, economic forecasts suggest a gradual recovery, especially in the second half of the year. The BIEK predicts an average annual shipment volume growth of 3.3 percent in the medium term, with expectations to reach nearly 4.9 billion shipments by 2027. Despite the challenges, the long-term growth trend of the KEP market remains intact.
The KEP sector in Germany faced a challenging year in 2022, marked by a significant decline in package volume and revenue. However, the industry demonstrated resilience, adapting to the changing circumstances and maintaining its importance as a job engine and employer. As economic forecasts indicate a gradual recovery and a positive outlook for the future, the KEP sector is poised to navigate the uncertainties and return to a path of growth, driving employment opportunities and supporting the German economy.