Speedy parcels

Bul­let train seats filled with boxes to has­ten shop­ping spree de­liv­er­ies

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LUOWANGSHU in Bei­jing and CHAIHUA in Shen­zhen Meng Jing and Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story. Con­tact the writ­ers at luowangshu@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s high-speed rail car­rier is help­ing couri­ers en­sure on­line shop­pers who took ad­van­tage of Sin­gles Day dis­counts on Fri­day are not left wait­ing for their bar­gains.

China Rail­way Corp, which man­ages the net­work, said 170 of its bul­let trains will be used for ex­press de­liv­ery be­tween Nov 11 and 20, stop­ping at 505 cities, to an­swer the grow­ing de­mand for lo­gis­tics ser­vices.

Sin­gles Day is the world’s largest on­line shop­ping fes­ti­val. E-com­merce gi­ant Alibaba’s re­tail plat­form, Tmall, said it had re­ceived 657 mil­lion or­ders on Fri­day worth a to­tal of more than 120 billion yuan ($17.6 billion).

An es­ti­mated 1 billion parcels will be shipped by rail to bar­gain-hun­ters this year, dou­ble the 2015 fig­ure, ac­cord­ing to the China Ex­press As­so­ci­a­tion, CRC’s de­liv­ery arm.

“China’s high-speed rail net­work now cov­ers more than 20,000 kilo­me­ters and stops in most ma­jor cities,” said Huang Jian, the as­so­ci­a­tion’s mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor. “The net­work is fast, ef­fi­cient and has great ca­pac­ity.”

He added that the use of bul­let trains this year will be­come the norm for the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try.

“We will use the rail­ways to trans­port 2,400 met­ric tons of goods be­tweenNov 11 and 20,” said GuQian, a pub­lic­ity of­fi­cer with SF Ex­press, a ma­jor courier ser­vice. “We will use 149 out of 170 bul­let trains al­lo­cated for de­liv­ery.”

Bei­jing’s rail­way bu­reau said four daily high-speed ser­vices will carry goods from the cap­i­tal to Shang­hai and Guang­dong prov­ince over the 10 days, short­en­ing each jour­ney by up to 15 hours, in­clud­ing load­ing and un­load­ing times.

“Each train has 15 com­part­ments and can carry 340 tons,” said Zhang Jin­chao, deputy di­rec­tor of the bu­reau’s lo­gis­tics cen­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to data he pro­vided, the cen­ter ex­pects to send about 13,500 tons of goods and re­ceive 14,000 tons byNov 20, both in­creas­ing 80 per­cent com­pared with last year.

Over 20 billion pack­ages were de­liv­ered by all lo­gis­tics chan­nels last year, and Alibaba’s re­search depart­ment pre­dicts the num­ber will reach 100 billion in the com­ing five to eight years.

The com­mer­cial lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is worth nearly 11 tril­lion yuan and ac­counted for 16 per­cent of GDP last year, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion.

SU YANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

De­liv­ery work­ers load parcels of prod­ucts bought by on­line shop­pers on Sin­gles Day onto a bul­let train in Nan­jing, Jiangsu prov­ince, on Fri­day. China Rail­way Corp has said 170 high-speed trains will be used to help e-com­merce plat­forms de­liver goods be­tween Nov 11 and 20.

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