Yiwu delivery drivers all wound up after Singles' Day

By Ma Jingjing in Yiwu Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2019/11/13 2:51:04

Piles of packages are to be delivered at a logistics center in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province on November 11. Photo: VCG

Chinese delivery drivers in Yiwu, East China's Zhejiang Province, embraced an offline delivery carnival after Alibaba's Singles' Day shopping spree on Monday, as the number of packages to be sent is expected to reach a new high.

At 8pm Tuesday in northwestern Yiwu, Liu Jiang, 23, runs around apartments and basements in a community to collect packages, from a few to hundreds. He has been working for 12 hours and cannot rest until midnight.

"Everyone [delivery drivers] moves quickly. You feel very enthusiastic and motivated to work very fast. Otherwise, the parcels can't be sent out and consumers won't get their goods as soon as possible," Liu told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Liu works for a courier agency of ZTO Express. The owner of the agency, surnamed Li, said they sent over 60,000 items on Monday, with more expected to be sent Tuesday.

"Now our customer service and accounting staff have joined our delivery drivers in collecting and sorting packages," Li said, noting that they may work till midnight again.

"I went to the labor market several days ago to find temporary workers but the supply still isn't enough. On average, the number of parcels every courier in Yiwu will send after Singles' Day will be three times what it is normally," Li said.

The delivery drivers get bonuses based on workload, meaning they'll earn more if they collect more packages, according to Li. He said they now earn a third more of their usual salary.

Data from the State Post Bureau showed that a total of 535 million packages were sent across the country on Monday, a new record high. It predicted a total of 2.8 billion packages will be sent during the delivery peak season from Monday to November 18.

Vibrant Yiwu

However, the surging number of package deliveries didn't paralyze the small city's traffic flow. Li said the Yiwu transportation department had planned logistics bus routes in advance for speedier delivery.

In May, the opening of a 66-kilometer-long high-speed ring road around the city has made it more convenient logistically and further promotes the development of e-commerce.

"You can find people engaged in e-commerce in almost every community in Yiwu," Liu, the delivery driver, said.

In fact, the community in which Liu collects packages is a cluster of four or five-story buildings still under construction. Outside the buildings, scaffolding hasn't been removed, the road is still dirt and bumpy, while inside, handrails haven't been installed for safety.

But that doesn't stop young people from pursuing their e-commerce dreams.

The Global Times visited several such workshops in small apartments, where, different from normal families, one can see a working table with large screen computers, piles of wrapping and all kinds of goods.

Liu said many of these people come from Central China's Henan Province and East China's Anhui Province, but there are also people like him from Southwest China's Yunnan Province who are seeking opportunities here.

"I once worked in Shanghai and Hangzhou, capital of Zhejing Province, and visited other cities, but no city is like Yiwu. It's like a child, grows faster than you can imagine," he said.


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