New Express Delivery Regulations Lead to Industry Dilemma

Updated rules for package deliveries have increased pressure on workers and raised questions about online shopping

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2:01 AM HKT, Wed May 1, 2024 1 mins read

As of March 1st, newly revised “Regulations on the Management of the Express Delivery Market” have come into effect in China. These regulations mandate that express delivery companies may be fined up to 30,000 RMB (4,167 USD) for unauthorized use of intelligent parcel lockers or delivery service stations without user consent, with severe cases facing the maximum penalty.


Door delivery new rules

New rules mandate couriers to deliver every package direct to recipients’ doors. Image via China National Radio.


However, the enforcement of these regulations presents a dilemma. Within the first week of the new rules being introduced, interviews with residents and delivery staff in Wenzhou showed that they weren’t being enforced. Now, almost two months later, reporting in Changsha has revealed ongoing challenges, mostly due to residents’ unawareness of the updated regulations or preference for delivery station safety. Inconsistent enforcement has led to frustration among delivery personnel who are already grappling with overwhelming workloads.


Despite the mounting workload, courier payments haven’t kept pace, as major delivery firms compete with each other by lowering prices, neglecting pay for regular delivery staff. This imbalance has sparked a wave of resignations among delivery personnel in China. Since the new rules were introduced two months ago, some Cainiao Package Locker managers have even resorted to delivering packages themselves to alleviate the mounting package backlog at their stations.


Cainiao

Workers at a Cainiao Intelligent Package Locker. Image via Weibo.


For consumers, the plight of delivery workers might prompt reflection on our shopping habits. Is it necessary to make so many online purchases, or should we consider supporting offline businesses to boost the local economies?


While online shopping has become an unavoidable part of daily life in China (and indeed, much of the rest of the world), it’s essential to acknowledge the strain it places on couriers. Rather than transferring the burden to them, there’s a call to calculate the true cost of logistics and ensure fair treatment for those on the frontline of delivery services. As China navigates its delivery landscape, finding solutions that balance regulatory compliance, consumer convenience, and worker well-being is imperative.


Banner Image via China Daily.

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