Growth in e-commerce to create demand for envelopes

Press release

Brussels, 12th October 2017

45% of goods cross-border weighed less than 0.5 kg

The future of the European letter mail market was the central theme of the 60th Congress of the European Federation of Envelope Manufacturers (FEPE), held in Marseille, France, from 5-7 October 2017.

Dr Bruno Basalisco from Copenhagen Economics presented the results of a study on the future of the European envelope market commissioned on behalf of FEPE. Predicting a 34% drop of mail volumes as a likely decline scenario by 2025, he pointed towards opportunities for FEPE to influence the market towards a more paper prominent scenario.

This includes pushing for more stringent regulation of communication by large mailers and promote ‘good behaviour’ among large senders, as FEPE is doing with their Keep Me Posted EU campaign for the citizen´s right to choose between paper and digital.

Growth in e-commerce can create demand for envelopes

According to the International Post Corporation (IPC), 45% of goods cross-border weigh less than 0.5 kg, providing a huge potential for the mail industry to pick up on. “Stakeholders need to invest in researching customers expectations regarding packaging materials and drive retailers who use less eco-friendly packaging solutions to change” said Mark Harrison, Head of Markets at IPC. Whether envelopes volumes will benefit from the e-commerce boom depends on whether large and small online retailers will choose to send lightweight items in envelopes or cardboard boxes. Innovation allowing an automated packing process into lightweight materials such as envelopes are required.

Print offers facts-based evidence of performance

Direct Mail is still accounting for 30% of mail volumes in Europe. Its main value is that it is effectively reaching and generating consumers´ responses. Being a trusted, controllable and measurable medium, it stands out in times where brand owners and agencies start questioning the effectiveness of digital channels and the internet facing fake news and fraud issues, so Ulbe Jelluma from Print Power.

Over 60% of citizens prefer paper invoices

A roundtable on the EU campaign together with similar national initiatives in the UK, Spain, Slovenia and Germany, chaired by David Gold from Royal Mail, showed again the discrepancy between citizen´s preferences – 60% of which still prefer paper for important documents – and the interests for cost savings of large mailers.

Furthermore speakers addressed the latest developments in magazine and newspaper publishing and main trends in the global envelope market. The Congress was attended by 96 delegates from 19 countries, representing envelope manufacturers and their suppliers. It was kindly sponsored by UPM, Stora Enso, W+D, AW Window Film, Eukalin, Multiplastics, Gascogne, Leipa, Sidaplax, Transcendia, Irplast and The NavigatorCompany.

Next year´s FEPE Congress will take place from 13-15 September in Tallinn, Estonia. For further information please contact Lisa Kretschmann: or +32 2 779 4001.