Zhongtong, Yunda raise delivery fees

By Cheng Yu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-12 07:32

Zhongtong, Yunda raise delivery fees

A Zhongtong Express employee sorts out packages at an outlet of the delivery firm in Fuyang, Anhui province. [Photo by Wang Biao/For China Daily]

Just one month before China's online version of Black Friday, leading Chinese delivery firms Zhongtong Express and Yunda Express have both announced plans to raise delivery fees amid pressure from rising operational costs.

The latest move by the two companies comes as the State Post Bureau predicted that the number of express deliveries is expected to hit a record of 1 billion during this year's Singles Day, China's largest online shopping festival, which falls on Nov 11.

The two express companies announced that they will adjust delivery fees starting on Tuesday and Wednesday due to pressure from rising labor, material and transportation costs. Consumers can consult specific delivery stations to know more details.

A courier who declined to reveal his name at a delivery station of Zhongtong in Beijing's Haidian district told a reporter that he hasn't been informed of the plan yet.

"But the price wouldn't go up much even if it rises," he said.

Other domestic express companies seem to have no immediate plans to follow the trend. Leading express firm Shunfeng Express told China Daily that it hasn't received any notice and currently has no plans to raise fees.

"Apart from rising costs, another reason is that Chinese logistics firms focus more on high-quality services and consumer experience now, which should be achieved by some adjustments such as delivery fee to improve services," said Xu Yong, chief consultant for an express and logistics website.

Highlighting the fact that six leading delivery firms have all gone public, he said: "China's logistic industry tends to be more stable. Properly raising delivery fees in fact indicates that the sector is trying to move beyond price wars into a new stage."

Notably, not to be alone on Singles Day, Chinese express firms have already geared up for the shopping gala to grab a slice of the pie.

On some job-hunting websites including 58 Tongcheng, delivery companies including Zhongtong, Yunda and Shentong released recruitment notices with tempting conditions such as extra subsidies, as part of efforts to attract more staff to cope with the upcoming event.

Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, also said it will cooperate with delivery companies to invest 1.5 billion yuan ($220 million) to promote smart logistics and install around 20,0000 smart delivery lockers to relieve the pressure.

Chai Hua in Shenzhen and He Wei in Shanghai contributed to this story.

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