Double 11 festival kicks off with faster delivery services
Mature logistical system sets foundation for shopping spree
Published: Nov 03, 2021 06:23 PM
Employees are working at a delivery distribution center in Haian, East China's Jiangsu Province on November 2. Photo: CNS

Employees are working at a delivery distribution center in Haian, East China's Jiangsu Province on November 2. Photo: CNS

"If I placed an order on before 11 am, I can receive the item on the same day which is incredible especially for urgent necessities," a Beijing-based white-collar employee surnamed Wang told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Chinese consumers have been embarking on a shopping spree since the beginning of November as the annual Double 11 shopping festival kicked off on Monday. More surprisingly, many consumers have received their online purchases shortly after placing orders.

Multiple netizens expressed their anticipations on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. "This year's shipping has been speeded up so much, and I received my products on the second or third day, so it is tiring for me to open all my packages at once," one commented. 

This Double 11 is also a special one for Wang, since this is her first Double 11 actually in China meaning fully experiencing the shopping festival, after living in the US for many years. 

Wang said that she missed the fast and efficient delivery back home after experiencing some issues with snarled logistics abroad. 

Analysts noted that China's well-developed logistics system not only delivers products quickly to consumers, but has also boosted the domestic consumption while playing an indispensable role, despite the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Smooth logistical flow

Some 98 percent of all the orders placed by consumers in the Chinese mainland may have free shipping for this Double 11 shopping festival, according to media reports. 

The couriers delivered 569 million packages on Tuesday, a year-on-year increase of 28.54 percent, according to data released by the State Post Bureau, while the data showed that more than 200 million packages were delivered in East China's Zhejiang Province and South China's Guangdong Province. 

China's sophisticated logistics system has created an organized industry chain with delivery enterprises, e-commerce platforms and industry workers cooperating closely with each other, which maximally guarantee a smooth delivery flow, Zhang Yi, CEO of iiMedia Research Institute told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The advanced technology adopted in the industry chain and widespread warehouses across the country has greatly accelerated the transportation efficiency, Zhang noted.

He Hui, the director of the China Logistics Information Center, added that the country's efforts in continuously improving the infrastructure such as constructing railways and highways and delivery companies opening up more stations aims to cover as many provinces and counties as possible. 

An employee at Shentong Express noted that the number of pre-sale packages with speedy delivery services grew by nearly 100 percent on a yearly basis, with the number of cities covered by the service jumping from 162 in 2020 to nearly 300 in 2021. 

Analysts said that the digital upgrade to the logistics network for rural and remote areas across the nation has provided a broader access and coverage for local residents and domestic enterprises. 

A young female consumer from China's Xizang Autonomous Region, told the Global Times that almost all her online purchases have been free of shipping charges for the past five years, with very few items will be charged for delivery.

He however reminded that challenges may remain for this Double 11 as the recent resurgence of sporadic COVID-19 cases in the country.  

Free-of-charge shipping

"For those who need something urgent, the speed of the US logistical system is unimaginably slow," said Wang. 

Wang is not the only one who had missed China's quick and convenient delivery services while living abroad. A Chinese international student living in Melbourne, Australia, told the Global Times on Tuesday that how much she has appreciated the logistics services back home after leaving the country.

"I have had experiences with waiting for a quite urgent package coming from the same city for as long as two weeks, which drove me mad," she said. 

Analysts pointed out that China has constructed a well-developed logistics system with the convenience and efficiency leading across the globe, as the shipping cost and labor cost all well affordable. 

Compared with some Western countries, Chinese consumers have a relatively stronger purchasing power, and the large trading volume therefore helps lower the shipping cost, Zhang said.  

Reports claim that average Chinese consumers receive more packages than consumers in other countries, and a Chinese consumer receives more than three times the number of packages than an American. 

The free shipping rates in the United States are around 60 percent which is lower than many European countries, compared with China's 98 percent by estimating the penetration rate of Amazon prime members (in which members get free shipping for purchases), according to media reports.

Zhang noted the labor cost and other technical costs have been maintained at a relatively affordable level for Chinese enterprises compared with their counterparts in other countries, adding that Chinese delivery workers is largely well paid.