'Delivered by China' global push

Updated 2017-06-25 11:25:12 Xinhua

Chinese couriers' global networks are growing, helping overseas buyers receive products from China faster.

SF Express recently announced it was teaming up with UPS. Each firm has committed to investing million in the joint venture.

Lin Zheying, SF Holding vice president, said the company's international business is booming, with revenue nearing 2 billion yuan (4 million) last year.

The company's own delivery network includes 51 countries and regions. The new partnership means it can now reach almost every country in the world.

The surge of businesses concerning Belt and Road countries is most prominent, Lin said. It handles about 200,000 parcels a day to Russia, about 20 times the volume in 2014.

Khisamutdinov Maxim, who works for SF Express international department, said deliveries to Russia had been reduced to seven days from 30.

YTO Express, backed by Alibaba, also recently announced a global parcel alliance featuring couriers in 25 countries and regions.

This came after the company spent over 1 billion HK dollars on a majority stake in Hong Kong-listed On Time Logistics, which does air freight forwarding business in Asia, Europe and North America.

YTO Express says it aims to become a world leading logistic service provider in a market dominated by DHL, UPS, and FedEx.

YTO Express chairman Yu Weijiao said Chinese couriers are thriving and the world needs Chinese services.

Over the past decade, courier companies have benefited from the e-commerce. But the market remains largely domestic. Cross-border operation accounts for merely 2 percent in terms of handling volume.

However, changes came fast. In the first quarter this year, Chinese mainland couriers handled 170 million pieces of parcel across the border, up 29 percent from a year earlier, State Post Bureau figures show.

The revenue of overseas delivery grew by 19.8 percent to hit 11.1 billion yuan.

All top five Chinese couriers, also including ZTO Express, Yunda Express and STO Express, plan aggressive overseas expansion.

Overseas expansion has been encouraged by the government as the five-year plan (2016-2020) calls for setting up a batch of overseas logistics centers.

Cainiao Network Technology, Alibaba's courier aggregator, has set up such centers in Southeast Asia, cutting cost by 44 percent while shortening delivery time by a quarter, said the company's spokesperson Guan Xiaodong.

Zeng Junshan, an industry observer, saw overseas operation a key structural change for Chinese couriers as the domestic market saturated.

Major Chinese online retailers have expanded overseas. In June, both Alibaba and JD.com announced plans to launch end-to-end retail shopping websites for overseas clients.

Wang Yonggang, a marketing manager for Chinese smart-phone Vivo, said online shopping is becoming a global phenomenon.

He said the company on average receives 1,000 overseas orders via online retailers.

"We are seeing a new trend in global trade," said Wang Jian, a professor with University of International Business and Economics. "It is not just corporations and big traders involved. Individual consumers, micro enterprises are playing an increasingly important role."

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