Chinese companies raise logistics fees to increase income for workers
Published: Aug 29, 2021 08:48 PM
food delivery workers Photo: CFP

food delivery workers Photo: CFP

Multiple Chinese logistics companies have said that they will raise their delivery fees, in an effort to increase income for the vast number of couriers after top officials recently called for fair income distribution as part of the country's goal for common prosperity.

Several logistics companies, including STO Express, YTO Express and ZTO Express, will raise delivery fees by 0.1 yuan ($0.02) per parcel from September 1, which means couriers can get extra 0.1 yuan for each parcel they deliver, according to media reports. 

An Pengfei, director of a YTO Express branch in Chaoyang District, Beijing told the Global Times on Sunday that his branch had been informed of the increase. 

"The average monthly delivery volume of a courier in our branch is about 10,000 pieces, which means the increased delivery fee will directly add 1,000 yuan to their wages," said An.

A courier from YTO Express told the Global Times on Sunday that she gets 1.2 yuan per parcel and she can deliver approximately 6,000 to 7,000 parcels each month. "The extra delivery fee may bring me considerable extra income," said the courier.

Xu Yong, a courier industry analyst in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Sunday that the rise of delivery fees for couriers can be considered as a concrete step by the logistics industry to support the country's common prosperity roadmap that stresses the fair distribution of income.

"The increase of delivery fees will directly increase couriers' incomes and improve their livelihood," said Xu, adding that the move may also prevent an outflow of experienced staff. "Recruitment in the logistics sector is relatively difficult at present, so higher pay may help the industry's development and increase companies' service quality and competitiveness," he said.

The revenue of China's logistics sector hit 1.104 trillion yuan in 2020, said Ma Junsheng, head of the State Post Bureau, on Tuesday during a press briefing. 

The number of parcels delivered reached 83.5 billion last year, compared with 5.7 billion in 2012, a net increase of 14 times. From 2012 to 2020, the average price of express delivery for each parcel decreased from 18.5 yuan to 10.6 yuan.

A total of 100 billion parcels will be delivered in 2021, said Ma.

However, while China's logistics sector experiences fast expansion, various issues also need to be solved.

The courier from YTO Express said that delivery companies usually have strict and even harsh rules to cap their salaries. "Some of our colleagues even don't get paid on time," said the courier. 

There is also a large gap between the incomes of couriers in China and developed countries. 

For instance, US job-hunting site showed that the average annual base income of a courier in the US is $46,239, which is nearly four times that of Chinese couriers.