E-commerce deliveries soar on Double 11, China’s Black Friday

25.11.2016 - UPU members can look to their peers for inspiration on e-commerce, including China's Singles Day, the country’s very own and more successful version of Black Friday.

This year's Double 11 saw 350 million express and logistics orders from China's main e-commerce retailers.

Indeed all UPU regions will focus on riding the e-commerce wave during the next World Postal Strategy from 2017-2020.

In China on Singles Day on November 11 this year, the main e-commerce retailers generated 350 million express and logistics orders. This was a 59-per-cent increase over 220 million orders in the previous year, according to China’s State Post Bureau. Express deliveries handled by the country’s main postal and express delivery enterprises reached 251 million items. The normal daily volume was 80 million from January - October 2016.

The scale of the event is unlike anything else in the world. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, reported sales of 17.7 billion USD on so-called Double 11 this year, according to a Reuters report. The day originated in the 1990s to celebrate singlehood. 

In contrast, the big shopping events in countries, such as the United States - Black Friday and Cyber Monday - are expected to bring in a combined total of more than 6 billion USD this year, according to Adobe Digital Insights.

Quality of service

And operations are firmly focused on quality of service for customers, according to China.

“Double 11 is not only a major test on the service support capability of the postal and express delivery enterprises, but also a great push for the whole sector to improve its service capacity and quality,” says Deputy Director General Gao Hongtao, Department of External Affairs of China’s State Post Bureau.

Unprecedented scale

China’s postal and delivery enterprises have developed different strategies to deal with the dramatic spike in delivery volumes. During the Double 11 period, they deploy more than 2 million staff and use electronic waybills, digital dispatch and automated sorting technologies. In addition to using road transport for deliveries, air and high-speed rail transportation is also increased.

“The rapid surge in business volume in a short time during the Double 11 shopping event breaks the daily production rhythm and resource allocation of enterprises and also poses severe challenges to the maintenance of service quality,” Gao Hongtao explained.

Nonetheless, efforts have also been made to expand the reach of the postal network in China. The express delivery network now covers more than 80 per cent of villages and towns throughout the country, while postal convenience service stations, such as parcel lockers, are increasingly used for campuses and buildings, says the State Post Bureau.

“The effective promotion and use of last-mile-delivery public service platform and parcel lockers have relieved the pressure of bringing express delivery service to campuses, communities and buildings to a great extent,” Gao Hongtao said.

Cross-border e-commerce also received a significant boost during the Singles Day period this year, with delivery volumes increasing to more than 10 million on a daily basis, five times more than the prior year.

World Postal Strategy

Under the Istanbul World Postal Strategy, the UPU regions specified e-commerce development and strengthening operational efficiency as top-level priorities.

This new work cycle starts in January 2017 and runs until December 2020.



Comments (1)

  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
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