Parcel market in the Netherlands - statistics & facts
Parcel delivery services demonstrated high business potential with ever-increasing market demand throughout the 2000s. Technological advancements and social evolution towards more digitalization paved the way for high potential in the parcel and express services market in the Netherlands and across the globe. Yet, the traditional postal services such as mail delivery are on a systematic decline. In 2019, Germany, Italy, and Poland were the leading markets in Europe when juxtaposing countries for domestic parcel traffic. During that period, the Netherlands had only the fifth-highest domestic parcel traffic in Europe, with roughly 399 million parcels. Since 2012, both inbound and domestic parcel delivery industry in the Netherlands went through a steady growth in total revenue generated. By 2020, total revenue of the parcel industry in the Netherlands almost doubled, generating just under two billion euros from domestic and over 1.6 billion euros from outbound parcel deliveries. Similarly, the parcel volume also doubled during the same period in the Netherlands.
E-commerce a main driver in the parcel market
It is no secret that the advancements in the digital economy are the main drivers of the parcel delivery market since parcels in usual circumstances are sent from businesses to customers (B2C) or from customers to customers (C2C) via digital platforms. Since the beginning of digital transformation, Dutch businesses widely embraced the potential of technological revolution and enhanced local infrastructure in terms of parcel delivery services. Between 2017 and 2019, the Dutch market experienced an incremental increase in the share of consumers aged 16 to 75 who used online shopping, reaching roughly 81 percent by 2019. In only sixteen years, revenue generated in the e-commerce market in the Netherlands improved by roughly ten times, reaching 26.6 billion euros in 2020. Although there is snowballing use of e-commerce, people in the Netherlands are still somewhat reluctant to use some services, such as food, home and garden products. Yet, a wider-use of e-commerce services is forecasted across all product categories in upcoming years in the Netherlands
Customer preferences for Dutch parcel delivery services
One direct cost of online shopping is that people only receive the product they order after some days in the best circumstance, sometimes it goes up to a week or more. Time preferences of people for online delivery incline towards a shorter delivery time, each day of delayed consumption are costly to individuals. During a 2020 survey, over a quarter of people in the Netherlands revealed that they preferred a maximum one to two days of delivery. Consequently, people are willing to pay for this service to satisfy their preferences in proportions. During another survey in 2020, Dutch respondents indicated that they were willing to pay an average of approximately four euros extra for the collection and delivery of online supermarket orders. Only 30 percent of respondents stated that they would not pay anything for delivery of grocery orders.
Companies operating in the Dutch parcel market
The Netherlands is a leading logistics and transportation economy in global comparisons. That is mostly because of the diverse firm structures in the country enabling its global competitiveness. PostNL is the market leader for domestic parcel transport in the Netherlands by total revenue comparisons, with roughly two thirds of the market. DHL, DPD, and GLS are other three market participants. Until the coronavirus pandemic, PostNL's revenue stagnated around 2.8 billion euros. With people staying more at home and ordering online, PostNL managed to increase its revenue to over 3.2 billion euros in 2020. This could also be seen in the parcel delivery revenue of PostNL, which increased to over two billion euros in 2020.
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