SCIO press conference on making every effort to ensure sound transportation services during 2023 Spring Festival

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Beijing Youth Daily:

Just now, the State Post Bureau discussed the slowdown in express delivery services and the backlog of parcels that occurred a while ago. The Spring Festival is the peak season for people to return to their hometowns and travel; it is also the offseason for the courier industry. Can you judge whether there will be a shortage of couriers and a slowdown in express delivery services in the next stage? Are there any solutions? Thank you.

Chen Kai:

Thank you for your questions. During the Spring Festival, as many people return to their hometowns to celebrate the Lunar New Year or travel, people's need for express delivery services will significantly decline. According to the data of the past two years, the average business volume per day in the seven days of Spring Festivals accounts for about 15% of the average daily business volume of whole year in 2021 and 2022. It can be said that the Spring Festival is the offseason for the courier industry. Despite that, we hold that currently, it is a critical period for the optimization of epidemic prevention and control, and people are still in urgent need of delivery of medicines and materials for epidemic prevention and control and basic living. Therefore, for some time to come, especially during the Spring Festival, ensuring delivery services is of great significance for better coordination between epidemic prevention and control and serving economic and social development in the new situation. Taking that into consideration, the State Post Bureau has specifically formulated the work plan for the postal and courier industry on safeguarding delivery services during the 2023 Spring Festival. It has made special arrangements concerning the operation of the industry during the Spring Festival, mainly including the following four aspects:

First, the order of postal delivery services will be maintained. We will effectively play the role of the market and urge postal enterprises to keep providing stable universal postal services. We will guide major brand express delivery enterprises to make reasonable service commitments tailored to the actual delivery needs of different regions, issue the arrangements of services during the Spring Festival in advance, coordinate the transport capacity of the entire network, and arrange a necessary number of outlets and workers to ensure the effective operation of the service network of their brands.

Second, the delivery service for the "Lunar New Year's Shopping Festival" will be guaranteed. This year we will continue to work with the Ministry of Commerce and other departments to organize the Online Lunar New Year's Shopping Festival activity. We will guide the enterprises to make reasonable arrangements for production and operation during the holiday, promptly release the service arrangements to the public, and strictly act upon its announcements and commitments. We will urge enterprises to strengthen communication with upstream e-commerce enterprises to make a well-informed prediction about changes in the needs for services during the Lunar New Year's Shopping Festival and the Spring Festival and make reasonable arrangements for human resources and transport capacity to ensure the enterprises' regular operation.

As I have mentioned, in the first five days of this year, the business volume of express delivery nationwide has reached 1.89 billion pieces, providing support for the online retail sales of physical goods of more than 160 billion yuan. It can be said that the coordination between commodity circulation and express delivery and logistics plays an active role in stabilizing consumption.

Third, the need for delivery of medical supplies, including medicines, will be guaranteed. Together with the Ministry of Commerce, we jointly issued the notice on jointly guaranteeing the supply and delivery of medical supplies, guiding for delivery enterprises to make special marks on medical supplies, strengthen guarantees and give priority to its delivery to meet people's urgent needs for the delivery of medicines and other medical supplies. 

Fourth, practical measures will be taken to safeguard couriers' legitimate rights and interests. I believe you all remember that on Feb. 1, 2019, General Secretary Xi Jinping visited couriers at Shitou Hutong in Qianmen, Beijing. He said affectionately that couriers work really hard, getting up early and returning home late at night, making deliveries in all weathers, and getting even busier at holidays, and working the hardest just like busy bees to bring convenience to our life. We will fully implement the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and pay visits to couriers during the Spring Festival. We will urge delivery enterprises to coordinate the arrangement of rest and leave for those who work during the holiday and implement off-peak vacations or allow them to take their days off later. Couriers who work during the holiday should enjoy due overtime payments under the relevant laws, and subsidies to enterprises that maintain stable employee numbers will be ensured to guarantee their living.

Based on the current conditions, many enterprises have recently issued their operation plans during the Spring Festival, specifying the commitments of their brands to ensure services during the Spring Festival. We will further urge enterprises to fully implement their commitments and make serious efforts to ensure the quality of delivery services during the Spring Festival. Thank you.

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