Report finds global parcel theft on the rise, with UK the worst-affected market

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A new report by parcel box manufacturer Penn Elcom, in partnership with delivery management platform Scurri, has found that global parcel theft rose by more than 2% in the period May 2021 to April 2022 compared with the previous year. The UK was the worst-affected market with a rise of 5% compared with the previous 12 months, costing an estimated £320m (US$360m) in missing goods, according to the Penn Elcom Parcel Theft Report.

The report, which was produced by international research group YouGov, also found that 1 in 10 people had a parcel lost or stolen during the research period, which amounts to 1.009 billion packages globally at a cost of US$37.9bn.

“Parcel theft is on the rise, and that is the surprising find of this report because we thought it would be down because of Covid. Another thing that stands out is that 33% of everyone who was asked has had a parcel lost or stolen in their lifetime – that was a much higher percentage than we expected. We were also surprised to find that 1 in 10 people were now fearful to make a purchase online,” Rob Platt, Penn Elcom’s sales and marketing director, told Parcel and Postal Technology International (PPTI) at an exclusive roundtable to present the report in London on October 11.

The report found that UK residents reported a blanket increase in parcel problems across the nation since the previous 12-month period, with 12% of people reporting a parcel lost or stolen, up from 7% between May 2020 and April 2021. The report also revealed that a staggering 32% of people surveyed in the UK have had a package lost or stolen in their lifetime, which amounts to 21.5 million1  parcels, with this expected to rise unless preventive measures are put in place. Full-time workers were noted to be the most at-risk group for incidents.

Gavin Murphy, CMO of Scurri, told PPTI, “When you make an online order, you have that anxiety until your purchase lands on your doorstep, and I think delivery has gotten very complicated over the past five years as the volume of e-commerce has grown, and so too have different delivery channels. The statistic from the Penn Elcom Parcel Theft Report that 1 in 10 are fearful of buying online causes concern because we’ve already seen in the UK that online sales have plateaued and are in decline, so if trust and the customer experience are foremost for the retailers, that last-mile delivery piece must be part of the overall delivery experience, and secure delivery is a large part of that.”

Penn Elcom has been campaigning to restore confidence in online shopping and has developed the Penn Parcel Box to offer a secure, weatherproof solution for parcel deliveries for homes and businesses.

“We expect parcel piracy to continue to rise as global parcel deliveries increase2 if measures are not taken on a global scale. We are doing our best to help delivery companies and drivers, who are under extreme pressure, and to save online shoppers the headache of waiting in for parcel deliveries, rearranging missed deliveries and traipsing to parcel depots – as well as the heartache of lost and stolen parcels,” added Penn Elcom’s chairman, Roger Willems.

Download the full Penn Elcom Parcel Theft Report here.


  1. Survey results extrapolated to global and national populations
  2. Pitney Bowes, 28.09.21: Global parcel volumes rose to 131 billion in 2020, a 27% year-on-year increase, and are predicted to double again by 2026 to 266 billion
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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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