The report on the South African Courier Services sector focuses on the current state of the sector, developments within the sector and factors influencing the success of the industry. The report profiles 22 companies including Courier-IT SA (Pty) Ltd which has a fleet of 150 vehicles to service clients such as SABS, Celldirect, Milu Trading and Woolworths, and TNT Express Worldwide (SA) (Pty) Ltd, part of a global network operating in approximately 200 countries.
Courier Services Sector
This report focuses on South Africa’s courier and express parcel (CEP) service industry which employs 20,000 people and is worth an estimated R8bn per annum. Companies within the sector range from multinational companies offering global services to single individuals with a light delivery vehicle. They deliver items from all sectors of the South African economy in millions of Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Customer-to-Customer (C2C) transactions.
Opportunities and Challenges
The CEP sector is a competitive industry with high overheads and input costs, and with labour costs outstripping inflation, service providers are feeling the pressure on profit margins. The series of strikes in the South African Post Office since 2011 has presented courier service providers with growth opportunities as companies have been forced to find alternative reliable distribution or delivery options. The 35% growth of online retail (e-tail) in South Africa in 2014 with sales worth R6bn, or 0.8% of total retail, has also benefitted courier companies. However, although the increase in e-commerce is providing growth opportunities for the courier sector, the emergence of Uber-like on-demand courier services and alternative delivery options, such as conveniently-located pick-up points, is having a disruptive impact on the traditional CEP industry.