Parcel Couriers in China Face Rising Operating Costs, Industry Group Says

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China’s parcel delivery industry faces a sharp increase in operating costs as expenses for transportation and temporary labor increase amid the coronavirus outbreak, an official said. industry.

The industry faces a labor shortage as some migrant workers still cannot return to work and those who have returned from areas affected by the virus must be quarantined for a period before starting to work, Han Ruilin, secretary general of the China Express Association, said at a press conference of the State Council on Monday.

The shortage of protective equipment has added mental strain on workers, Han said. Rising rent bills, loan repayments and labor costs are putting courier companies under relatively high cash pressure, he said.

As many villages and rural towns are still stranded, some couriers are unable to use their last mile delivery facilities, such as smart parcel boxes, which affects delivery efficiency and the experience. client, he said.

Less than 50% of smart parcel boxes, which allow users to receive parcels remotely, are in use during the outbreak, said Liu Jun, deputy head of the National Post Office.

The biggest challenge now is that couriers are not allowed to enter some residential complexes, said Li Jie, courier at ZTO Express. It now delivers around 100 packages per day, compared to 300 on average before the epidemic, he said.

Liu acknowledged the challenge but said the problem was gradually being resolved as more than half of the country’s provinces launched policies to allow couriers to enter residential complexes after their temperatures were checked.

The country’s courier industry is expected to resume full delivery capacity outside central China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, by mid-March, said director Hou Yanbo. deputy of the office’s market surveillance division, at the press conference.

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Some countries and global couriers have reduced flights to China, which has affected international parcel deliveries to the country. Hou said these restrictions have recently eased, and the National Post Office is working with foreign postal administrations, the Universal Postal Union and the Asia-Pacific Postal Union to showcase China’s effective fight against the epidemic. in order to eliminate the concerns of other countries.

FedEx on February 20 listed 17 Chinese cities with suspended pickup and delivery services. As the number of new cases continues to decline in China, the courier has reduced service suspensions in the country.

Contact journalist Denise Jia ([email protected]) and editor Bob Simison ([email protected])

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