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KEY STAT | International delivery volume rises in China amid coronavirus outbreak

The State Post Bureau expects the volume of express delivery to rise in 2020 despite the pandemic outbreak fallout.

As the lockdowns and social-distancing imposed by governments around the globe to contain the spread of the COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc on many companies, some industries, such as the delivery sector, has seen a demand surge.

In China, as the outbreak appears to be partially contained, the country is now eager to reboot its economy. The courier industry was among the first batch of sectors resuming operations, with hundreds of millions of citizens counting on the delivery industry for goods ranging from personal protective equipment to daily necessities.

As of March 1, north of 2.46 million, or 90.2% of the staffers employed in the courier sector, have been back to their position, according to a report by China’s state media Xinhua citing official data provided by the State Post Bureau (SPB). In comparison, the country’s manufacturing sector only reached a similar level of resumption by the end of this month.

Notwithstanding the fast recovery, the COVID-19 public health crisis still gave the industry a respectively 10.1% and 8.7% drop in the volume of parcels handled and total revenue, per January – February 2020 data published by the SPB.

While domestic delivery had a slip in the volume of parcels, the international delivery business saw a 5.3% increase, a possible explanation of which can be drawn from the international donation of personal health protection equipment during the early stage of the pandemic in China.

Despite the effect of the “black swan” event SPB expects the volume of express delivery in China to exceed 74 billion pieces in 2020, 18% higher than that of 2019.

In the year past, China’s delivery industry handled a total of 83.52 billion delivery orders, which translates to more than 170 million parcels a day on average. Divided by the country’s 14 billion population, it means that each Chinese citizen received 45 deliveries on average in 2019.