A customer in Chengdu receives her flowers ordered online on Tuesday. It is the 120 billionth parcel in China this year. (Photo by Luo Wangshu/China Daily)
China's parcel delivery sector has set a record by handling more than 120 billion items this year, demonstrating its strong resilience and showcasing the country's improving consumer market, the State Post Bureau said on Tuesday.
It is also a reflection of the nation's stable and positive economic momentum, the bureau added.
"Now, China has become the most dynamic express delivery market in the world, and the parcel delivery business in China has become a calling card of the country," said Bian Zuodong, deputy head of the bureau's market inspection department.
According to a report released by the bureau last month, more than 200 billion parcels are expected to be handled globally this year.
"The volume of express delivery business (in China) has increased from about 10 million a year to 10 million a month," Bian said, adding that the expansion of the parcel delivery network has benefited people across the nation.
China's parcel delivery sector continued to grow rapidly this year. Since March, the number of parcels handled each month has reached a record 10 billion. In 2013, the annual figure was under 9.2 billion.
"Express delivery promotes circulation and serves people's livelihoods. It has become a 'barometer' of economic development reflecting economic vitality. It is also an important factor in narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas and promoting common prosperity," he said.
The growing number also reflects China's economic vitality, he added.
"The growth of express delivery comes from the improvement of consumer demand. The business has also become one of the important indicators of China's economic development," Bian said.
"The recovery of the macroeconomic environment in China has promoted demand for express delivery services," Bian said.
Since the beginning of this year, China's economy has steadily recovered, while production and consumption demand have gradually picked up, he said.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, from January to October, online retail sales of physical goods in China reached 10.3 trillion yuan ($1.44 trillion), accounting for 26.7 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods.
"The rapid growth of market sales and service consumption has not only provided opportunities for the express delivery industry to better play its supporting role, but also provided opportunities for the sector's sustained high-quality development," he said.
During the "Double 11" period, the online shopping festival in November which caused a peak in parcel deliveries from Nov 1 to Nov 16, China handled 7.77 billion parcels, a year-on-year increase of 25.7 percent.
China's parcel delivery sector handles a daily average of about 350 million packages, he said.
According to the bureau's big data platform, a package from Kunming, Yunnan province, which was sent at 6:26 pm on Monday, was the nation's 120 billionth parcel of 2023.
The parcel, containing a bouquet of lilies, was ordered from an online store by a customer surnamed Zhang in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
At 3:39 pm on Tuesday, Zhang received the flowers.
"I placed the order yesterday afternoon, and it was fast," she said, while opening the wrapping to check her order.
Zhang said she often buys flowers and other daily goods online.
"The prices are better, and there is more choice online," she said.
The record-breaking flowers took a bullet train from Kunming to Chengdu, according to Li Weichen, head of the Sichuan office of SF Express, the major parcel delivery company which handled the 120 billionth parcel.
Since the company started cooperating with the high-speed rail service, parcels between Sichuan and Yunnan can be delivered just one days after the order was placed, rather than the earlier two days.
"It is faster and greener," said Zeng Jing from SF Express.