As the new decade begins, it is a great time to look back while we continue to move ahead. 2019 was a busy year in parcel shipping with a number of trends worth noting.

Global parcel volume reached 87 billion in 2018, up from 74 billion parcels in 2017, and is expected to reach 200 billion by 2025, according to Pitney Bowes. In fact, the largest internet retailer alone delivered 3.5 billion packages globally through its in-house carrier service in 2019. But it was also a busy time for shippers faced with new challenges as they work to deliver more packages to more customers from more places.

Warehouse-in-a-Warehouse a Growing Omnichannel Shipping Trend

As we wrote about several times in 2019, retailers continue to move ahead with an omnichannel shipping strategy to get items to customers quicker and cheaper. While omnichannel shipping is a catchall that includes ship-from-store, drop shipping from manufacturers, and more, as we said on Nov. 12, the warehouse-in-a-warehouse model is a growing trend.

We also saw omnichannel strategies drive more local delivery and white glove services in 2019 in support of ship-from-store initiatives. The range of carrier delivery options is expected to increase to meet consumer demand.

Challenges of Cross-Border Shipping Growing Along with the Parcel Cargo Chain

First-mile/cross-border/last-mile delivery increased significantly in 2019, a trend that is expected to continue as consumers increasingly shop online from anywhere in the world without a thought about where the retailer is located or where that delivery is coming from. In fact, cross-border eCommerce is growing at twice the rate as domestic eCommerce and this continues to increase the volume of global parcel volumes. As we noted in a post on Aug. 6, this has led to a growth in the need for shippers to focus on cross-border consolidation and deconsolidation when working with their expanding global parcel chain.

4 Ways You Are Probably Already Supporting Personal Shipping—And 1 Way You Should

Another trend we covered in our Parcel Insights last year was the growth of personal shipping that enables companies to offer discounted shipping to their employees at no cost to the company. It makes sense, too, as many companies are currently bankrolling employee personal shipping in the form of “rogue shipping,” whether they know it or not, as we mentioned in this post on Sept. 17.

From Carton to Container: Pack for Shipping Success

Of course, not all trends started in 2019. As carriers continue to find ways to handle the increase in parcel shipments, one trend we’ve written about numerous times, including on April 9, is packing for profits. Whether shipping from store, regional distribution center, or even drop shipping from the manufacturer, shippers are utilizing cartonization algorithms to reduce the sometimes unexpected expense of dimensional weight-based (DIM) fees by choosing the correct way to pack each shipment.

There you have it. Some of the hottest trends we discussed last year. Of course, there are others—and more to come—so keep reading Parcel Insights to stay on the cutting edge of parcel shipping. And if you want to learn more about 2019 and 2020 parcel shipping trends, register here to join Pierbridge Managing Director Bob Malley at a PARCEL Magazine webinar—“The State of Parcel Shipping 2020 - The Rise of the Global Parcel Chain”— on Jan. 30 at 2 pm EST.