Deliveries may be sped up

Reg­u­la­tion en­sures safety of in­for­ma­tion af­ter mar­ket wit­nesses rapid ex­pan­sion

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By HU YONGQI huy­ongqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Eleven hours, 100 parcels, eight neigh­bor­ing com­mu­ni­ties. That’s Liu Zili’s daily task. His main con­cern though is not the ar­du­ous work but his dis­ap­point­ment that no one seems to trust the de­liv­ery­man, though he knows al­most every­one in these com­mu­ni­ties.

Dur­ing the past seven years, the 43-year-old de­liv­ery­man has tried to forge a closer con­nec­tion with his clients. How­ever, he never truly suc­ceeded be­cause clients were in­clined to avoid any per­sonal con­tact due to scan­dals and mishaps such as lost parcels and dis­clo­sure of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

Liu is well known on the streets but still feels like a stranger in the cap­i­tal city. His clients’ re­luc­tance to get to know him bet­ter was per­haps un­der­stand­able but Liu was dis­heart­ened. He said many of his fel­low work­ers share his sen­ti­ment.

Re­cent years have seen a rapid ex­pan­sion of the ex­press de­liv­ery mar­ket, de­mand­ing fur­ther reg­u­la­tion to keep con­sumers and the sec­tor safer.

A draft reg­u­la­tion on ex­press de­liv­ery was ap­proved in prin­ci­ple at a State Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing, which was presided over by Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang on Wed­nes­day.

Mea­sures will be in­tro­duced to sim­plify pro­ce­dures for com­pa­nies to set up new branches and park ve­hi­cles, both aim­ing to re­duce the cost of lo­gis­tics. The new draft stip­u­lates ser­vice rules and safety re­quire­ments for ex­press de­liv­ery com­pa­nies, stress­ing on pro­tect­ing the le­git­i­mate rights of con­sumers as well as ex­press de­liv­ery­men. Mean­while, the draft also sets rules for com­pen­sa­tion and in­for­ma­tion pro­tec­tion.

Fur­ther de­tails are still un­known un­til the draft is re­leased for dis­cus­sions. It came af­ter the first draft of a doc­u­ment was re­leased by the State Coun­cil Le­gal Af­fairs Of­fice in Novem­ber 2015 to so­licit opin­ions, which fo­cused on key ar­eas; in­fra­struc­ture, safety con­cerns and per­sonal in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity.

The first half of this year saw 17.4 bil­lion ex­press de­liv­ery parcels de­liv­ered, up by 31 per­cent com­pared to the same pe­riod last year, the State Post Bureau said last week. The sec­tor achieved rev­enue of 218 bil­lion yuan ($32.1 bil­lion), which in­creased by 27 per­cent. As of this month, more than 21,000 com­pa­nies were run­ning 189,000 branches across the coun­try with more than 2 mil­lion em­ploy­ees.

How­ever, con­sumers still find cause for com­plaint with 1.3 mil­lion submitted to the Na­tional Post Con­sumer Com­plaint Cen­ter in 2016. More than 28 per­cent of com­plaints were filed over de­layed de­liv­ery and an­other 20 per­cent over parcels lost on the way to re­ceivers. In this sense, the ex­press de­liv­ery sec­tor needs more so­phis­ti­cated reg­u­la­tion.

Ex­press de­liv­ery has spread from cities to larger ar­eas in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties. As the coun­try pro­motes the In­ter­net Plus Ini­tia­tive, a strat­egy to in­te­grate tra­di­tional in­dus­tries with on­line ser­vices, more parcels have been trans­ported from farm­ers to the ta­bles of ur­ban res­i­dents.

Dur­ing this process, the num­ber of branches and col­lec­tion sites has surged, said Xu Yong, chief con­sul­tant of the on­line lo­gis­tics con­sul­tancy cecss.com. There­fore, one cer­tifi­cate re­quired for one com­pany will make it eas­ier to set up branches and will re­duce in­sti­tu­tional cost for ex­press de­liv­ery com­pa­nies, he said.

The de­liv­ery­man Liu said most de­liv­ery­men are hard­work­ing and res­o­lute in pro­tect­ing clients’ in­for­ma­tion. How­ever, some scan­dals have hurt the im­age of ex­press de­liv­ery com­pa­nies and stricter man­age­ment is ur­gently needed.

Yang Daqin, a re­searcher at the China So­ci­ety of Lo­gis­tics, said the ex­press de­liv­ery sec­toris chang­ing into a com­pre­hen­sive lo­gis­tics in­dus­try to pro­vide di­ver­si­fied ser­vices. The draft should en­com­pass lo­gis­tics ser­vices pro­vided by in­ter­net com­pa­nies, he said.

Ex­press de­liv­ery com­pa­nies pos­sess a huge amount of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing names, ad­dresses and mo­bile phone num­bers. Sys­tem­atic risks should be man­aged to avoid any fur­ther dis­clo­sure of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and any il­le­gal con­duct re­lated to per­sonal safety, Yang added.

The pre­mier said dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing that the emerg­ing sec­tor of ex­press de­liv­ery can fa­cil­i­tate peo­ple’s lives and re­duce lo­gis­tics costs, which is also ben­e­fi­cial to spur con­sump­tion and eco­nomic growth.

“Rel­e­vant de­part­ments should lis­ten to opin­ions from all par­ties con­cerned with in-depth re­search, mak­ing the new draft a boost to healthy de­vel­op­ment of the sec­tor and en­sure le­gal rights of con­sumers and de­liv­ery­men,” the pre­mier added.

Sys­tem­atic risks should be man­aged to avoid any fur­ther dis­clo­sure of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and any il­le­gal con­duct re­lated to per­sonal safety.”

Yang Daqin, re­searcher at the China So­ci­ety of Lo­gis­tics

SHI YU / CHINA DAILY

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