With volumes and demand on the up, 2012 has been a year of change for parcel carriers. But adjusting to the increase in demand in a competitive market has been easier for some than it has for others. looks back at some of the biggest stories in the parcel market during the past 12 months.

UPS agrees TNT takeover bid

Parcel giant UPS’ planned acquisition of TNT Express was one of the most talked about stories in the parcels market during 2012, but whether it will go ahead is still yet to be seen. Back in March the US parcel firm announced plans to acquire TNT Express in a €45bn (£36.5bn) deal that would create a worldwide logistics firm. Bumps along the way included competition concerns from the European Commission and numerous delays which have pushed the end of the offer review period up until February. Will 2013 be the year we see TNT Express vans painted brown?

DX buys Nightfreight

2012 was a year of mergers and acquisitions and the sale of Nightfreight to DX Group in March was one of the largest, creating a business with a combined turnover of £290m. The firms, which continued to run as separate entities and only coordinated their sales and marketing activities, created a larger business which DX chief executive Petar Cvetkovic said was “much better positioned to satisfy growing demand from [its] new and existing customers”.

City Link unveils recovery plan

March saw City Link set out its three year recovery strategy after experiencing a “disappointing” £31.3m pre-tax loss during 2011. The carrier hoped the plans would see it break even within four months and generate £500m in new business over three years, through improving customer service, reducing operating costs and winning profitable business. But its Q3 financial results revealed that it made a £5.5m adjusted operating loss, which it blamed on poor volumes during  the Olympic Games.

Royal Mail Group posts profit ahead of privatisation plans

Royal Mail Group finally made it back into the black after seeing losses for a number of years. Things are looking up for the firm, with profit for the first half of the financial year leaping to £99m from a loss of £41m in the same period in 2011. It also revealed a £75m investment in expanding its Parcelforce Worldwide business, with the Group taking a more parcels-focused direction. Later in the year chief executive Moya Greene even hinted that its planned IPO could take place in 2013 if it receives the capital.

Jonathan Smith leaves Yodel after it closes 45 depots

2012 has been another challenging year for Yodel. February saw the first of its 45 depot closures as it entered the final stage of the merger of Home Delivery Network and DHL Domestic, beginning with the closure of its Cardiff site.

In September the carrier revealed chief executive Jonathan Smith was to leave at the end of the year after he led it through the merger of the two parcel companies. But Yodel seemed confident it would turn things around this Christmas by capping the volumes it would handle to ensure that it could cope with the high demand.

APC Overnight relaxed about new hub delay

Parcel network APC Overnight had hoped its new 120,000ft² hub would be open in time for the Christmas peak, but a wet summer and longer-than-expected groundworks delayed its opening until the Spring 2013.

Despite this, chief executive Syed Ziaullah remained confident that it would deliver a good service for its loyal customers this Christmas by saying ‘no’ to companies that had a cap imposed by another carrier and wanted to use APC for overflow.