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'Free' shipping, debunked

13:19
Thu, Mar 31 20229:48 AM EDT

The big carriers such as FedEx, UPS and Amazon make lots of deliveries, and none of those packages are being shipped for "free."

There were more than 131 billion parcels shipped worldwide in 2020, and parcel shipments are expected to double again in the next five years — possibly reaching 266 billion by 2026 — according to Pitney Bowes.

And those shipping costs are ever-increasing.

Companies such as Amazon, Walmart, Target and even Etsy benefit from economies of scale because they generate mass online sales. This puts them at an advantage to achieve bulk discount rates, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

Watch the video above to learn why free shipping is a myth, what it really costs companies to send parcels around the country and how it impacts consumer sentiment.

Clarification: Of the six leading retail, e-commerce, and parcel delivery companies, Amazon is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, with total emissions measuring over 60 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents in 2020. Amazon is not the overall the largest emitter of carbon in the world.