China Express Association predicted Wednesday that the industry would handle more than 1 billion packages for "Singles' Day" shopping between Nov. 11 and Nov. 16.
Sun Kang, vice president with the association, said that the time was a test for China's courier services, as 19 provinces, autonomous regions and cities would see a record high deliveries.
According to Shi Miao, vice president with logistics company Cainiao, part of e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba, to prepare for the shopping spree Cainiao has launched automated warehouses in many places, such as Shanghai, Tianjin, and Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces.
The industry is also pondering the environmental challenge posed by its heavy use of courier packages. The main component of packaging materials, polyvinyl chloride, can take hundreds of years to degrade.
Shi said that Cainiao would work with logistic partners and online stores to open 20 "green warehouses" globally. The parcels delivered from these warehouses will use boxes without tape, as well as biodegradable bags, during the "Singles' Day" shopping period. It will also recycle carton boxes in major cities.
"These new measures can help reduce the use of packages and alleviate the pressure of rising cost of packaging paper," Sun said.
November 11 is known in China as Singles' Day because the date, 11-11, resembles four "bare sticks," a term used in China to refer to single people.
The day started to become associated with commerce when Alibaba launched a major promotional campaign centered on Singles' Day in 2009.