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Faster, smarter and greener -- express delivery transformation behind the "Singles’ Day" online shopping feast

By Zhao Tong (People's Daily Online)    11:01, November 13, 2019

(Photo/Xinhua)

Faster: making commitments with confidence

In the first few years after the launch of "Singles’ Day", express logistics became a weak board that severely affected the shopping experience of consumers, with long wait times and high turnover rates.

However, this year, at 8:01 in the morning on Nov. 8, the 100 millionth package was shipped during the Tmall "Singles’ Day", which made for a new record. Since 2013, the delivery time for the same number of orders has shortened to 40 hours.

Air transport adds wings for the packages. Although the packages have to cross more than 1,000 kilometers, they can be delivered to customers the next day or even the same day. YTO Express, a second private express enterprise, has put 12 full cargo planes into operation, basically building a route network covering all major regions including more than 120 cities in China.

Smarter: technology innovation become commanding heights in express delivery competition

Bian Zuodong, the official in charge of market supervision in the State Post Bureau of the People’s Republic of China, indicated that it is expected that the peak period pertaining to “Singles’ Day” will last from November 11th to November 18th, during which the industry will handle 2.8 billion pieces of express mail. Among them, the maximum daily processing capacity may reach 520 million, which is three times the daily processing capacity (174 million pieces) experienced since the second quarter.

The express delivery volume of "Singles’ Day" breaks the old record every year. It can no longer attempt to meet the needs of consumers simply by relying on "crowd tactics" to improve efficiency. Big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence in the warehousing, transportation as well as distribution of the express industry all play an important role. Furthermore, face scanning and code scanning bring convenient and intelligent services to the “Singles’ Day” in China.

Greener: environmental action for everyone

The rapid growth of express delivery business on “Singles’ Day” every year has brought huge consumption of paper boxes, plastic bags, tapes, white foam and other packaging materials. Solving environmental problems has become a urgent task for e-commerce and express delivery companies

Xiong Dahai, vice president of STO Express, said that it is estimated that the area of the paper that would be saved could be as much as 1.274 million square meters, this amount would cover 3,000 standard basketball courts during this year's “Singles’ Day” with a thick layer of paper .

ZTO Express continues to promote the use of green recyclable canvas bags to replace the traditional woven bags. The utilization rate of each canvas bag is 100 times the amount of the previous woven bags.

Many express companies have jointly launched the largest "return box campaign" in history, covering 31 provinces in China. Customers who donate boxes will enjoy corresponding rewards. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)

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