Global Postal & Envelope Report

ALEXANDRIA, VA | The Global Envelope Alliance’s annual report on the global envelope manufacturing industry revealed data regarding the industry’s changing volume and composition. Comprising 25 pages, the report’s observations include the following from recent Universal Postal Union data:

• Global Posts handled 439 billion letters and delivered 6.2 billion parcels.

• Over 83% of all postal traffic comes from 28 countries.

• There are 925 separate, globally located envelope plants (not companies), and, on average, they each have 50 or less employees.

• The average envelope plant is small with five or less envelope folding and printing machines.

• The industry has a capacity to produce twice the quantity of envelopes that are in demand today.

• On average only 10% of the industry volume is in packaging, but that segment is growing.

• Global envelope volume is down between 2%–4%, depending on the general area. In developing nations, it is rising slightly by about 2%–4%.

Additionally, the report specifies the global envelope industry is being driven by six factors at varying intensities:

• Alternative technologies are providing lower cost channels for delivering messages.

• Concerns about global warming and climate change are causing a shift in the materials used in envelopes and in the operating practices of envelope manufacturers.

• Legislative and regulatory changes are impacting postal operators and causing a shift in their focus.

• Global economic trends are causing a shift in purchasing patterns by end users.

• The envelope manufacturing industry’s own operating inefficiencies limit its ability to lower operating costs commensurate with competing technologies and impact its ability to absorb higher raw materials costs from its supplier base.

The report examines each of the cited pressures as well as how national markets are adapting to them. While the report says it isn’t forecasting the demise of the envelope manufacturing industry, it suggests that a smaller, more nimble industry will emerge in 2009. A comprehensive 10-point summary of the global market study is also provided. For more information, visit:

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