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Shipping surge

Packages up, mail down in latest household study

Employee delivering a package
Households are sending and receiving more packages, according to a new study.

The number of packages sent by households has surged 40 percent during the past two years, while the number of parcels received has grown 16 percent, new research shows.

The figures, which are part of the Postal Service’s annual household diary study, were released last week by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

The package growth is “being fueled almost entirely by accelerating e-commerce activities,” said USPS Financial Economist John Mazzone.

The survey found almost all package volume growth was generated by households who shopped online at least once during the previous month. These households received twice the number of packages they did in 2007, before the Great Recession began.

On the other hand, the volume of packages received by households who don’t shop online is down 29 percent since 2007.

These figures — combined with data that show only 62 percent of households shopped online in 2014 — hold promise for USPS.

“It indicates solid growth will remain a characteristic of the USPS package market,” Mazzone said.

The study also shows more consumers are turning to electronic alternatives for correspondence and transactions. For example, 63 percent of all bills were paid electronically in 2014, up from one quarter a decade earlier.

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