The flow of delivered goods, once interrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, has notably recovered in Beijing.
More people can receive goods at their doorstep or downstairs, since Beijing said at the end of April that express delivery workers can enter residential communities with green-code registration－a verification system for entering and leaving residential areas or densely populated public places.
“The goods ordered by our clients have further diversified from packed rice, vegetables, toilet paper, edible oil, snacks and ethanol for disinfection during the February-March period, to sun cream, summer clothing, books, electronics, fresh fruit and wine in April,” said Li Jie, a 27-year-old delivery worker at a Beijing service depot of logistics company ZTO Express.
To prevent infection, the company has given Li and his colleagues sufficient protective supplies such as masks and gloves. It has also required them during the outbreak to sterilize their electric vehicles and goods-distribution areas within or outside residential communities at least three times a day.
In contrast to export-oriented companies that have been hit hard by declining global demand during the first quarter of the year, the rise of e-commerce-based platforms, express delivery, takeaway and related industries has become a symbol of China’s highly mobilized, dynamic economic forms amid the COVID-19 outbreak, said Liao Tao, general manager of China Post Group’s delivery branch.
Couriers and takeaway riders these days are often called the “capillaries” of the city, he said, adding that these industries have been helpful in creating jobs during the tough period.
By supporting people’s daily lives and helping businesses resume operations over the past three months, Wang Xingting, a delivery rider at an SF Express service depot in Beijing’s Haidian district, said his depot’s workload surged since the Spring Festival period. He said a number of former fitness instructors and employees of nightclubs and restaurants have joined his company due to the temporary shutdown of their work sites after the Spring Festival holiday.
Thanks to the country’s continuous effort to effectively contain the spread of the virus, China’s average daily express shipment volume had exceeded 200 million pieces in late April, returning to the normal operational level before the COVID-19 outbreak, according to data released by the State Post Bureau.
Online retail sales of physical goods currently account for one-fifth of the total retail sales of the country’s consumer goods, said Bian Zuodong, deputy director-general of the bureau’s department of market supervision.
He said the government, which is eager to upgrade the sector’s earning strength, will encourage e-commerce and logistics service providers to expand three sectors－rural, manufacturing and international markets－to further stimulate domestic consumption and facilitate the resumption of production and exports.