The global express delivery market, estimated at $277.04 billion in 2022, is expected to reach $303.84 billion, indicating a strong growth trend with a projected CAGR of 7.2% until 2027. Key drivers include dynamic B2B and B2C flows, particularly due to the expansion of e-commerce, which saw a sales increase to €146.9 billion in 2022, with services sector growth of 36% year-on-year. Prices are rising, influenced by fuel costs and inflation, and innovation remains crucial, with French start-ups like Trusk and Cubyn trying to make their mark. Express delivery services are subject to regulations, requiring companies to demonstrate professional competence and financial capacity, and maintain operational bases in France.

Evolving Express Delivery Market Trends in France

In response to the increasing demand for efficient and rapid transit of goods, the express delivery market is experiencing considerable growth in France. This expansion is tangibly reflected in the sale trends within the industry. The market saw a 38.32% increase in sales, signifying a resilient boost from the economic crisis as well as a rebound, reaching its zenith in 2022. The French express freight market alone valued at approximately €5.190 billion in 2022, is primarily facilitated by road transport via heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), cornering almost 87% of the domestic freight market. E-commerce, as a component of the express delivery market, reveals an interesting dynamic. The sector grew expansively in 2022, with sales soaring to between €145 and €150 billion, denoting a 13.8% rise from the previous year. The market encompassed over 200,000 active e-commerce sites by 2022, a 5% climb from the year prior, highlighting the ongoing pivot towards digital commercialism.

The French society demonstrates a clear preference for home delivery services, with a substantial 85% favoring this modality. However, relay point delivery also holds sway, primarily due to cost-effectiveness. Parcel tracking services, alerted via email or phone, are likewise held in high demand, reflecting the populous penchant for convenience and real-time updates. Observing the market composition, there's a notable consolidation within the sector, evident from the decline of establishments in the courier and express freight sector, which dropped by 11%. Despite this, employment figures ascended slightly, indicating a 7.3% employment increase, pointing towards structural market growth amidst increasing automation trends.

Internationally, global leaders like FedEx and UPS have a substantial presence in France, while French enterprises such as Sterne are expanding their reach to other European markets. Start-ups are also leaving a mark by innovating, particularly in the realm of last-mile delivery. French start-ups are gaining momentum by partnering with major players, showcasing their prowess in technological innovation and digital transformation capabilities within the industry. The express delivery market's lifeblood, road freight, though dominant, is seeing a marginal shift.

Profiling the Titans of Express Delivery: Dominance and Strategy in the Rapid Freight Arena

In the competitive landscape of express freight, a few global giants tower above the rest, carving out remarkable success stories through strategic expansions, technological advancements, and logistical prowess.

  • Deutsche Post DHL Group (Germany) - Deutsche Post DHL Group stands tall as a behemoth in the logistics industry, with an extensive network that permeates the global market. Their brand, DHL Express, is particularly dominant in international parcel delivery in France, capturing a 43% market share. Renowned for its timeliness and broad reach, DHL employs over 3,600 individuals in France alone. Their commitment to growth is further illustrated by recent investments such as the 25 million euros sunk into their Toulouse branch to quadruple its size, an effort to stay in step with the accelerating pace of activity.

  • United Parcel Service Inc, UPS (United States) - An American giant that's intimately familiar with the ebbs and flows of the express freight world is UPS. Known for its iconic brown delivery trucks and comprehensive logistics services, UPS has a global footprint that assures its prominent position in the market. Despite recent tensions due to strike threats, UPS maintains its stronghold and continues to innovate to meet the needs of its expansive client base.

  • FedEx Corporation (United States) - When it's absolutely, positively got to be there overnight, FedEx is a name that resonates with urgency and reliability. This steadfast player has benefited from shifting dynamics and challenges faced by competitors, such as absorbing clientele from UPS amidst labor disagreements. Their French operations are facilitated by a strategic hub at Roissy - CDG, contributing significantly to the region's economy.

  • Aramex PJSC (United Arab Emirates) - A powerful entity rising from the Middle East, Aramex brings a fresh dynamic to the global express delivery ecosystem. With a reputation for agile operations and expansion into burgeoning markets, Aramex represents the evolving geography of international logistics, catering to a rapidly globalizing economy.

  • SF Express (Group) Co. Ltd (China) - SF Express has quickly become a force to be reckoned with, not just within China's colossal domestic market, but also across global exchanges. As it considers public listings to bolster expansion plans, this Asian courier reflects the robust growth and shifting power centers within the express freight industry. Meanwhile, in the entrepreneurial spirit of France, start-ups like Trusk and Cubyn display ingenuity and tactical smarts by specializing in niches such as same-hour bulky item deliveries.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1. Presentation and definition of the express delivery market

Express transport is a service that delivers goods quickly and efficiently from one point to another, faster than traditional delivery services. This service is particularly popular with businesses, especially those in sectors such as online sales, logistics, healthcare and finance.

There are three categories of courier, depending on delivery times:

  • traditional couriers, who commit to delivering parcels within 24 to 72 hours;
  • fast courier services, which pick up parcels before 6 p.m. for delivery on D+1 before 6 p.m;
  • express freight with shorter lead times: delivery is generally before 12 noon for collection the evening before. It guarantees on-time delivery, real-time tracking of shipment progress, and full handling of administrative and customs formalities.

However, the difference between express and courier services is very subtle, so much so that express courier services are sometimes included in express freight.

The global market, estimated at $277.04 billion in 2022, is set to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% to 2027, a sign of the market's expansion. It comprises B2B flows, but also B2C flows, boosted by the development of e-commerce.

The French express freight market is also booming, following a slight downturn during the health crisis. Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are the preferred mode of transport, accounting for almost 87% of the market for domestic freight. Market players are undergoing a process of concentration, with numerous takeovers. Inflation and the war in Ukraine are not conducive to lower prices. However, industry players are constantly innovating and offering solutions adapted to both professional and private customers.

1.2. The global express freight market benefits from a stimulating economic environment

The size of the global express delivery market was estimated at $***.** billion in **** and is expected to reach $***.** billion in ****, representing growth of *.*%. The market is then expected to grow at a CAGR of *.*% until ****.

Estimated growth in the size of the global express delivery market World, **** - ****, in $ billions Source: ...

1. 3. express freight: a thriving market in France

The French express freight market is registered under NAF code **.**A, which groups together the courier and express freight markets. Thus, the size of the express freight market can be obtained by studying this broader sector.

courier and express freight market sales trends France, **** - ****, in € billions Source: ****

In ****, sales amounted ...

1.4. A special feature of the market: e-commerce, a growth driver for the sector

E-commerce refers to all commercial transactions carried out via digital interfaces, essentially on the Internet using computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices.

Total sales generated by e-commerce, by type of purchasing device France, ****-****, € billion Source: ****

In ****, sales in the e-commerce sector, including products and services, will total €***.* billion, marking an ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1. Home delivery and parcel tracking: French preferences

The consumption habits of the French population are favorable to express freight: the French are more inclined to have deliveries made to their homes, and to be able to track their deliveries in real time.

Home delivery is preferred in France, but delivery to a relay point is also popular:

A ...

2.2 A minority of French are prepared to pay more for shorter delivery times

According to an OpinionWay survey published in ****, too long a delivery time is the second reason leading customers to abandon their order. In fact, **% of those surveyed said they had already abandoned an online purchase because of a delivery time that was too long.

Reasons for abandoning an online purchase France, ...

2.3 French people's preferences for different parcel delivery companies

Numerous delivery companies operate in France, but it's clear that consumers prefer French groups.

How the French rate the different parcel delivery companies France, ****, in Source: ****

The three groups preferred by the French are French brands: Colissimo (***). The appreciation gap between French brands and those of other nationalities is wide, since ...

3 Market structure

3.1. The French express freight market is becoming increasingly concentrated

The number of courier and express companies in France is steadily declining, from *,*** in **** to *,*** in ****, corresponding to a drop of around **%.

number of establishments in the courier and express freight sector France, **** - ****, in number of establishments Source: ****

This phenomenon reflects a concentration of the business, with the biggest companies ...

3.2. Strengthening national and international players

The two world leaders in express parcel delivery are American giants FedEx and UPS. Lately, FedEx has benefited from an influx of customers from UPS, which has been affected by the threat of strikes. An agreement was reached with employees ahead of the *ᵉʳ August **** deadline, averting the strike. In addition, FedEx's ...

3.3. The different phases of parcel delivery and the last mile

Sending a parcel is a process that requires a number of different stages to ensure that it runs smoothly and is optimized, which is why express delivery companies are so efficient.

The last stage in the parcel delivery process is the so-called"last mile". This term designates the final segment in ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1. Road freight, the main medium for express deliveries

There are different types of express freight, depending on the delivery method used:

road rail maritime air

Modal shares of land freight transport France, ****, in Source: ****

In ****, for the first time since ****, the share of road transport by heavy goods vehicle in overland freight transport (***) has fallen, from **.*% in **** to **.*%. However, ...

4.2. A steady rise in prices

The following graph shows the production price indices for French courier and express freight services. These indices have been rising since ****.

Output price indices for French services to French courier and express companies France, Q*-**** - Q*-****, in price indices Source: ****

The rise in prices can be explained by ...

4.3. Transport prices

Websites such as enable consumers to easily compare prices and encourage competition. The procedure simply involves entering the country of departure and arrival, and the weight and dimensions of the parcel: a list of carriers detailing the service and price is then proposed by the website.

Prices vary according ...

4.4. Innovation at the heart of the express freight sector: some French start-ups make their mark

Faced with the big global players with their substantial economies of scale, some French start-ups are trying to assert themselves by being more innovative, flexible and digital.

Trusk, for example, aims to revolutionize delivery. The company's business model is based on the express transport of bulky objects, with delivery within the ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Installation constraints

Professional road haulage contractors are subject to specific regulations. They must register their company, whether using two- or four-wheel motorized vehicles, on the transporters' register managed by the Direction Régionale de l'Environnement, de l'Aménagement et du Logement (***). Before registering, they must obtain authorization from the regional prefect, via the ...

5.2 The main points of professional regulations

Regulation of road haulage is based on the law of December **, ****, known as the"LOTI".the Loi d'Orientation des Transports Intérieurs (***), recodified in the Transport Code in December ****, establishes a right to transport that aims to enable travel under reasonable conditions of access, quality, price and cost for the community. ...

List of charts

  • Estimated growth in the size of the global express delivery market
  • Sales trends in the courier and express freight market
  • Market share of different types of transport in domestic freight transport
  • Total sales generated by e-commerce
  • Number of active e-commerce sites
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Latest news

Mondial Relay opens a parcel distribution platform in Vendée - 18/10/2023
  • Mondial Relay is currently building its 40th logistics site in Nesmy, south of La Roche-sur-Yon.
  • The investment for this project is 4 million euros
  • Mondial Relay currently sorts and routes 30,000 parcels a day in the Vendée region.
  • With the new platform, Mondial Relay expects to be able to sort and route up to 50,000 parcels a day.
  • By 2024, Mondial Relay plans to have 300 points of contact in Vendée.
  • The number of lockers will double from 50 to 100 by 2024.
  • By 2026, Mondial Relay aims to have between 600 and 700 parcel drop-off/pick-up points in the Vendée département.
Chronopost: French start-up simplifies parcel delivery - 03/08/2023
  • The growth of e-commerce has considerably increased the number of parcels exchanged in recent years.
  • Chronopost, France's leading express parcel delivery company, is a subsidiary of the La Poste group.
  • Chronopost has teamed up with French start-up Anycommerce.
  • Anycommerce has developed a checkout software available in all Chronopost partner stores.
  • The new software is already handling over 2,000 transactions a day since its installation on July 1.
  • The number of parcels delivered in France was increasing by more than 10% every year before the project was launched.
  • In 2022, La Poste's parcel business slowed down, but remained at a very high level, with 2.6 billion parcels delivered worldwide.
  • The new AnyPOS platform is deployed throughout France
Chronopost accelerates in food and pharmaceuticals - 14/06/2023
  • Chronofresh warehouse area: 1,900 m2.
  • Investment in new Chronopost facilities: 22 million euros.
  • Chronofresh sales growth in 2022: 23%.
  • Chronofresh sales in 2022: 120 million euros.
  • Chronopost Healthcare sales in 2022: 160 million euros.
  • Chronopost Healthcare sales growth in 2022: 11%.
Colissimo commits to the planet to stand out from the crowd - 25/05/2023
  • E-commerce will account for a quarter of global sales by 2026.
  • Colissimo, the leader in France, delivered 500 million parcels a year.
  • The La Poste subsidiary has reduced its CO2 emissions by 42% between 2013 and 2022.
  • 64% of e-tailers prefer reusable packaging to disposable boxes.
  • Colissimo targets: 50% carbon-free deliveries in France by 2025
Geodis prepares for a record year - 06/05/2023
  • Sales forecast for 2022: 13 billion euros, for 2021: 10.9 billion euros
  • Asia-Europe volumes down 20% due to war in Ukraine
  • Warehouse space managed by Geodis worldwide: 9 million m².
  • Global logistics expenditure: 5,900 billion euros
  • Outsourced logistics expenditure: 2,600 billion euros
UPS inaugurates its new logistics hub at Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport - 06/05/2023
  • UPS has been present at Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport since 1985
  • Investment of 12 million euros for the new sorting platform
  • UPS has 60 centers in France and operates five other airport services (Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, Toulouse, Marseille, Bordeaux and Rennes)
  • UPS sales in 2021: $97.3 billion
  • UPS has customers in more than 220 countries and territories
  • UPS employs around 540,000 people worldwide
  • In France, UPS is present in more than 5,000 relay points, operates a fleet of 500 vehicles and more than 2,800 subcontracted vehicles, and employs more than 2,700 people.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

DB Schenker
GLS (Royal Mail)
Colissimo La Poste
Chronopost (La Poste)
Mondial Relay (Otto group)
DHL International Express France
TNT Express
DHL Group

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