China builds efficient, smooth rural delivery logistics system
China has built an efficient and smooth rural delivery logistics system in recent years, facilitating the flow of agricultural products to urban households and consumer goods to rural areas.
Volunteers advertise yellow peaches via livestreaming at a family farm in Houshenbu village, Huzhou city, east China's Zhejiang province. [People's Daily Online/Deng Dehua]
As of June this year, online retail sales for agricultural products had exceeded 208.8 billion yuan (about $32.3 billion), and express delivery services had reached over 98 percent of the country's townships, according to a recent report released by the China Internet Network Information Center.
Furthermore, all administrative villages in the country are now covered with direct postal services. So far, around 300 million courier parcels are delivered daily on average in China, with one-third of them being handled in rural areas, according to an official from the State Post Bureau. Statistics indicate that more than 20 billion express packages were shipped to and from the country's rural areas between January and July, and the exchange value of industrial products and farm produce between urban and rural areas meanwhile neared 1 trillion yuan.
Shoushan township in Pingnan county, southeast China's Fujian province, is a typical example of the country's continuous improvements in rural delivery logistics. All its 14 administrative villages have access to postal services, thanks to a cooperative model between the township's post office and express companies, under which the post office will deliver express companies' packages to all the villages. Meanwhile, Shoushan has coordinated e-commerce, postal service, and express delivery, making logistics more efficient and express services faster and cheaper.
Expanding delivery logistics in rural areas is of great significance, as it boosts the sales of agricultural products and rural consumption, said Zhang Peili, an associate professor of economics from Renmin University based in Beijing, adding that the integrated development of delivery logistics and e-commerce in rural areas also modernizes agriculture.
However, there are still some problems with rural delivery, such as inadequate end service capacity, poor sustainability, and weak infrastructure, Zhang noted.
To solve these problems, the State Council recently issued a circular calling for further improving the delivery service system in rural areas. Rural delivery logistics resources should be coordinated and logistics platforms such as postal, express delivery, transportation, supply, marketing and trade should be encouraged to share the burden of end distribution networks so as to reduce the cost of rural end delivery, the circular said.
China also encourages rural delivery logistics enterprises to provide specialized supply chain delivery services for agricultural products.
The circular said that by 2025, parcel delivery outlets will have been set up in every town across the country, and services will be extended to every village so that agricultural produce can be shipped to cities, while consumer goods can in turn be delivered to rural regions.
By the end of June 2022, 300 modern agricultural demonstration projects for express delivery services are expected to be built across the country.
Various resources need to be coordinated to build a smart rural logistics network by deploying technologies such as 5G, cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence, so as to boost rural revitalization, said Liu Dacheng, deputy director of the Internet Industry Research Institute of Tsinghua University.