Easier, smarter, greener postal industry delivers better life in past decade
BEIJING -- China's postal sector has undergone substantial improvement in the past decade, sweetening people's lives with greater convenience and higher efficiency.
People working or studying far away from home can ease their nostalgia with a bite of delicacies of their hometowns such as hairy crabs from Jiangsu or lychees from Guangdong, as the country has seen drastic improvement in cold-chain logistics for fresh food, shipment efficiency as well as factory productivity.
Statistics have shown the stellar performance of China's postal sector over the past 10 years. The sector's business revenue rocketed from 198.09 billion yuan (about 27.9 billion U.S. dollars) to more than 1.26 trillion yuan in this period, with an average annual growth rate of 22.9 percent.
The expansion of the postal network nationwide partly contributed to this tremendous growth.
Ten years ago, many villages in China's countryside and western region had no direct access to postal services. Most of these villages are in high-altitude mountainous areas and deserts, which are sparsely populated, inconvenient for transport and prone to natural disasters.
To link the faraway villages, China has ratcheted up efforts by extending its postal roads and establishing post offices in remote areas.
To date, the length of China's postal roads has surpassed 10 million km. Postal services had covered all administrative villages in the country by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), laying a foundation for the country's fight against poverty and the pursuit of rural revitalization.
The improved postal network also facilitated the boom of China's express delivery market. Over the last decade, China's annual express delivery volume surged from 5.7 billion parcels to 108.3 billion parcels, ranking first in the world for eight consecutive years.
The ever-growing express delivery market has called for higher capacity and efficiency in handling parcels, prompting Chinese courier companies to embrace a series of advanced technologies and equipment.
For instance, robots have assisted workers in sorting goods. Big data tools help optimize transport routes and various types of vehicles such as cars, airplanes and high-speed trains have been utilized to shorten transport time.
Consumers have also found parcel pickup more convenient and interesting with tech-savvy products such as unmanned vehicles, drones, and contactless parcel delivery lockers constantly coming to the fore.
The rise of China's postal sector in the past 10 years also came with a "green revolution," which aimed at mitigating the environmental impact of packaging waste and reducing the use of cardboard boxes to cut carbon emissions.
Chinese authorities have rolled out multiple plans and guidelines to promote the use of e-waybills, environmentally friendly packaging bags and fillings, reduce the use of sticky tape and enhance the recycling and management of packaging waste.
By the end of 2020, the use of e-waybills had basically achieved full coverage in the postal sector and more than 70 percent of the e-commerce parcels had not used secondary packaging.