Ex­press de­liv­ery over­haul

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - ED­I­TO­RIAL

ONE DEATH AND SEVEN IN­JURIES FROM PARCELS con­tam­i­nated with a highly toxic chem­i­cal sig­nify that the ex­press de­liv­ery sec­tor is in ur­gent need of an over­haul.

A man died af­ter re­ceiv­ing a par­cel of shoes de­liv­ered by Shang­hai-based YTO Ex­press that had been con­tam­i­nated with methyl flu­o­roac­etate. Two other re­cip­i­ents of parcels and five de­liv­ery work­ers are also be­ing treated af­ter their ex­po­sure to the chem­i­cal.

A spokesman for YTO said that the con­tam­i­na­tion took place when a pack­age broke dur­ing trans­port al­low­ing the chem­i­cal to leak out.

There are rules that strictly pro­hibit the de­liv­ery of dan­ger­ous items and there are also spec­i­fi­ca­tions re­quir­ing care­ful ex­am­i­na­tion of parcels to en­sure their com­pli­ance.

The par­cel con­tain­ing the chem­i­cal emit­ted a re­pug­nant smell that had caused two work­ers to vomit im­me­di­ately af­ter it was re­ceived for de­liv­ery. How­ever, the fac­tory, owner send­ing the par­cel, lied by say­ing that the par­cel was safe for de­liv­ery with­out any harm­ful sub­stance.

Even if the fac­tory claimed the par­cel was safe, YTO had enough rea­son to check since it had al­ready caused its work­ers to throw up.

Then there is the ques­tion of why the par­cel leaked. Was it packed cor­rectly in the first place? And was it han­dled cor­rectly? It is well known that some de­liv­ery work­ers up­load and un­load parcels in a care­less man­ner in or­der to swiftly fin­ish the job.

The loop­holes ex­posed by this in­ci­dent point to the messy man­age­ment of the ex­press de­liv­ery sec­tor, which has wit­nessed rapid de­vel­op­ment in re­cent years.

In this process, some ex­press de­liv­ery gi­ants have snow­balled rapidly by de­vel­op­ing lo­cal branches, but with­out ever tight­en­ing the man­age­ment over their lo­cal branches.

The too fre­quent com­ing and go­ing of de­liv­ery work­ers has added to the dif­fi­culty in su­per­vis­ing them.

That ex­plains why there have been re­ports of de­liv­ery work­ers steal­ing from their clients and even a de­liv­ery worker who killed a client in or­der to rob her, as well as re­ports of parcels ex­plod­ing on open­ing, harm­ing the re­cip­i­ents.

This lethal poi­son­ing in­ci­dent should be a re­minder that ex­press de­liv­ery gi­ants such as YTO need to have a clear strat­egy for their long-term de­vel­op­ment. Blind ex­pan­sion with­out nur­tur­ing a sound cor­po­rate cul­ture will do no good to the in­dus­try’s sound de­vel­op­ment.

Also stricter and clar­i­fied rules are needed to im­prove stan­dards and safety.

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