Pic of the day: Backlog of packages engulfs delivery company
China’s package delivery industry feels the impact of the country’s online shopping spree.
User @梁大大大豪 reported on Sina Weibo, a popular social media site similar to Twitter and Facebook, “This is what Shentong (Note: a Chinese package-delivery company) across the street looked like when I arrived at my company in the morning. They say it started handling packages at 4 a.m.! And this is what’s left…That’s Double 11 (November 11)! End of the story!” (His Weibo post has got 58,000 shares and 11,000 comments. Clearly Chinese netizens were shocked too.)
November 11, 2012 saw the record turnover of US$3.36 billion posted by China’s B2C online retailer Tmall owned by Alibaba group, as the country’s young people celebrating the unofficial Singles’ Day were persuaded by the retailer to snap up seriously discounted merchandise. According to Forbes, that easily beats last year’s post-Thanksgiving sale in the U.S.
But the buying binge also spells trouble for China’s backward package delivery industry, which is plagued by rising labor costs, labor shortage and cutthroat competition. The underdeveloped transport system has only made things worse. It is estimated that 60 million packages will have to wait to be shipped following the November 11 shopping festival, according to Xia Zubin, a person in charge at Shentong Express, who had been working non-stop for 24 hours since the dawn of Singles’ Day.