Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.
The Business & Industry Guides series is produced by the Library & Information Service for ICAEW members and ACA students.
We can compile tailored key players reports, mailing lists, market reports, benchmarking reports and industry news. Our enquiry team can also research other industry-specific information, such as taxation, for you. Call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email email@example.com.
Trends and forecasts
The library provides full access to articles from leading business, finance and management journals.
Market research reports focusing on this business sector are available from a number of market research specialists. In most cases these reports are available to fee-paying subscribers or on a pay-as-you-go basis.
SWOT analyses examining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for major companies operating in this sector are available exclusively for ICAEW members and ACA students through the Library & Information Service.
If you experience any problems accessing these resources, please see our online resources troubleshooting FAQ.
Other market research specialists
Some free information is available from the following market research specialists, ranging from industry news to executive summaries of the reports.
A listing of reference products and research reports for the postal and courier sector from Euromonitor. Each report provides a contents listing and a useful executive summary reporting on the key trends in each country report.
Business and industry research specialists offering reports on a wide range of sectors, including postal and courier activities. Report snapshots, table of contents and a sample report are available.
Report covering the UK courier and express delivery market. The website includes a summary and the option to view a contents listing.
Need to find the latest news on this industry sector? We can carry out industry news searches using a range of trade titles and general business sources through our databases. To discuss your requirements, please contact the enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statistics on the UK
Office for National Statistics
The Annual Business Survey (ABS) from the Office for National Statistics collects financial information covering UK production, construction, distribution and service industries. Statistics available include:
- number of enterprises;
- total turnover;
- approximate gross value added at basic prices;
- total purchases of goods, materials and services;
- total employment – average during the year;
- total employment costs;
- total net capital expenditure;
- total net capital expenditure – acquisitions;
- total net capital expenditure – disposals;
- total stocks and work in progress – value at end of year;
- total stocks and work in progress – value at beginning of year;
- total stocks and work in progress – increase during year.
The dataset Non-financial business economy, UK: Sections A to S includes statistics for:
- Postal and courier activities (53.00)
See Section H: Transportation and storage
Statistics on Europe
Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:
- number of enterprises
- turnover or gross premiums written
- production value
- value added at factor cost
- gross operating surplus
- wages and salaries
- social security costs
- gross investment in tangible goods
- gross investment in land
- gross investment in existing buildings and structures
- gross investment in construction and alteration of buildings
- gross investment in machinery and equipment
- number of employees
- number of persons employed per enterprise.
Statistics within the database are available for:
- Postal activities under universal service obligation (H531)
- Other postal and courier activities (H532)
See database section ‘SBS – services’.
Average employment costs within this sector are available from Table 14 of the Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.
The data includes average employment costs for postal workers, mail sorters, messengers and couriers.
Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.
Legislation and regulation
Gov.uk provides some guidance on the main legislation applicable to various sectors, including driving and transport businesses.
UK business guides
Croner-i Business Focus
Business Focus is a resource that provides practical information on many small business trades and sectors. Its Business Opportunity Profiles offer detailed insights into market conditions, legal issues and the trading environment for a range of businesses. They include:
- Courier service
To find out more about Business Focus, please contact our enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at email@example.com.
Atom Content Marketing guides
The Start Up Donut from Atom Content Marketing provides practical information on starting up and running a number of small business types. Guides cover a range of areas including market research, current trends, regulations, products and services, promotion and pricing. They include:
UK key players, ratios and trends
We can produce reports on this sector using selected information from the FAME company database. Reports are available for:
- Postal activities under universal service obligation
UK SIC (2007) Code 53.10
- Other postal and courier activities
UK SIC (2007) Code 53.20
Summaries of the three types of report we can produce are given below. You can find further information, a sample report, pricing details and an online order form on our industry sector reports page.
We also operate a bespoke reports service with results tailored to your specifications. Please contact our enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.
Key players report
Our key players report looks at the top companies (by turnover) in any one of the segments within this sector. Reports usually include the top 100 companies but in more specialised sectors with fewer than 100 companies we show all companies with disclosed figures. The reports provide data on 11 comparative fields for the last available year, including:
- profit margins;
- returns on shareholder funds;
- solvency ratios
- number of employees.
Our reports enable easy comparison of the top companies in this sector against each other and against the sector median, average and standard deviation in each of the 11 fields.
A separate mailing list report is also available with address and contact details for the top companies in any of the segments within this sector.
Our market reports look at the aggregated data for the top companies (by turnover) for any of the segments within this sector across all the fields usually found in a company report. The reports include data for the last 10 years* and enables easy comparison of trends for the whole sector. Reports usually include the top 100 companies but in more specialised sectors with fewer than 100 companies we show all companies with disclosed figures.
*Please note the number of companies for which data is aggregated will vary for any given year.
The market reports include sections on:
- key financials and employees;
- profit and loss account;
- balance sheet;
- cash flow statement;
- financial ratios;
- financial trends and changes;
- profitability trends and changes.
We offer benchmarking reports that can be used to inform your own business strategy or help you identify value-added services to offer to your clients.
Contact the enquiry team directly on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at email@example.com for a report tailored to your own specific requirements.
The websites of trade bodies in this sector are a useful source of industry overviews, contacts and statistics.
- Association of International Courier and Express Services (AICES)
- National Courier and Despatch Association (NCDA)
- Institute of Couriers (IOC)
- Mail Carriers Association (MCA)
- Associazione delle Agenzie di Recapito Espressi (ARE) (Italy)
- Associazione Nazionale Imprese Servizi Postali (ASSOPOSTE) (Italy)
- Bundesverband der Kurier-Express-Post-Dienste (BdKEP) (Germany)
- European Express Association (EEA)
- Türkiye Kargo, Kurye Ve Lojistik İşletmecileri Derneği (Türkiye KARID)
- Canadian Courier and Logistics Association (CCLA)
- Express Association of America (EAA)
- Messenger Courier Association of America (MCAA)
Trade journals and publications
Trade journals, B2B magazines and specialist consumer magazines are another useful source of news and statistics.
Articles and books in the Library collection
To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.
You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post or email through our document supply service.
Can't find what you're looking for?
The ICAEW Library can give you the right information from trustworthy, professional sources that aren't freely available online. Contact us for expert help with your enquiries and research.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this Business & Industry Guide is correct. However, the content of websites changes frequently and users should satisfy themselves that the information they contain is suitable for the purposes for which they wish to use it. We would be grateful to receive notification of any broken links at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.