By Li Xinping, People's Daily
China's courier sector saw its delivery volume exceed 100 billion parcels on Dec. 1, seven days earlier than in 2021, according to statistics from the State Post Bureau.
This hard-won achievement indicated the resilience of the Chinese courier industry, as well as the outcomes of China's coordination of COVID-19 policy with economic and social development.
In the first 12 days of December, over 4.3 billion parcels were collected nationwide, up 5.6 percent year on year.
China's huge express delivery network boasts a total mileage of 43 million kilometers and 410,000 service stations. It serves nearly 700 million people on a daily basis.
The courier industry, impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, has faced unprecedented pressure since this year. To ensure unimpeded logistics, relevant departments issued a series of policies, such as removing all the temporary checkpoints at the entries and exits of expressways, setting up a whitelist mechanism, and launching real-time monitoring. Besides, enterprises in the courier industry also took active actions to ensure smooth operation of the express delivery network, including rerouting delivery lines and establishing emergency response mechanisms.
The Chinese courier industry maintained a sound online operation, and its channel advantages started to show. Driven by the industry, the demand for online consumption has kept releasing continuously. In the first 10 months of this year, online retail sales of physical goods nationwide increased 7.2 percent, leading to a 1.5 percentage point rise in market growth. It accounted for 26.2 percent of the total retail sales of social consumer goods, up 0.5 percentage points from the January-September period.
On the online shopping festival "Double 11" this year, which falls on Nov. 11, 552 million express delivery parcels were handled across the country, 1.8 times the usual daily average.
These figures well proved that the fundamentals sustaining China's continuous market recovery remain unchanged, and the country's consumption expansion and structural upgrading are still going on.
The 100-billion-parcel mark mirrored the infinite potential of the Chinese economy. In particular, 100 million of the parcels were shipped to and from rural areas. Nowadays, via the express delivery network, more and more agricultural products have been brought to the national market, and more and more industrial products are flowing to the countryside. Thanks to the constantly improving rural logistics and commercial facilities, the vitality of rural consumption has been further activated.
The above point is well proved by statistics. According to China's National Bureau of Statistics, retail sales in rural areas went up 0.8 percent during the January-October period this year, 0.3 percentage points higher than the urban figure. At present, express delivery services are available in 90 percent of all Chinese administrative villages, and the courier sector will only further drive the development of modern agriculture. As rural residents' income grows, their consumption ability and willingness are expected to be further expanded, which will further release the potential of rural consumption.
The 100-billion-parcel mark indicated the strong vitality of the Chinese economy. Compared with 2021, this mark was crossed earlier and with higher quality this year.
Though deliveries were slower in some places and during certain periods of time, the proportion of deliveries completed within 72 hours among all parcels increased by 2.1 percentage points in key regions. Besides, home delivery, pay on delivery, and other services were widely provided. As of September this year, 90 percent of express delivery packages met environmental protection standards, and 9.78 million recyclable packing boxes had been used.
The courier industry, growing strong and advancing steadily amid challenges and risks, mirrors the vitality and resilience of the Chinese economy.