Courier companies ready for 'Double 11', packages to top 1 billion

Updated: 2016-10-31 13:45


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Courier companies ready for 'Double 11', packages to top 1 billion

A man unloads parcels from a vehicle of a ZTO Express delivery in Beijing, October 27, 2016.[Photo/Agencies]

As annual online shopping festival "Double 11" or "Singles' Day" approaches, courier companies are getting ready to go on a spree, Beijing Morning Post reported.

Several Chinese express delivery firms have begun their recruitment starting August and September, through campus promotional activities and agencies. They have even called on couriers' family and friends to help.

This year is the eighth consecutive year for "Double 11". During the Nov 11 shopping festival last year, Alibaba, the e-commerce giant which accounted for eight percent of China's total retail volume, reported that about 91.22 billion yuan ($14.33 billion) was spent in 24 hours.

Created in 2009, the event was originally launched to tempt single people to console themselves with some retail therapy, spurred on by massive discounts from retailers.

This year, the event's various figures are expected to set records again. A total of 1.05 billion packages will be delivered during that period, up 35 percent year on year, according to the China Express Association.

Courier companies have updated their equipment and data support, but pressure still remains.

Several delivery service stations have posted their job advertisements, without saying how many would be needed, Beijing Morning Post said. Most of courier companies have offered a salary of 5,000 to 7,000 yuan, or even 8,000 yuan, per month.

Almost 1,000 full-time workers have been hired since August, an official from SF-Express, one of the country's biggest delivery and logistics firms, told the newspaper. The number of part-time workers, including hourly workers and short-term dispatch workers, totaled over 3,000.

Previously, the company paid part-time workers according to how long they worked, but now SF-Express would pay them according to how many parcels they have sent, to motivate them, the official added.

In order to improve sorting efficiency, SF-Express and YUNDA Express both launched their fully automatic sorting equipment before the "Double 11".

SF's fully automatic sorting equipment, located at the Beijing Logistics Park, was launched in August. It can handle 40,000 parcels per hour, almost double the manual work previously.

In addition, the degree of accuracy of automatic sorting line can reach nearly 100 percent, up from the 95 percent of manual operation.