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Regulating express delivery sector will benefit buyers and couriers

China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-22 07:30

Regulating express delivery sector will benefit buyers and couriers

Yu Weijiao, founder and chairman of Shanghai Yuantong Express Logistics Co Ltd, delivers packages for customers in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo/China Daily]

According to media reporters, tens of thousands of packages have piled up at a delivery station of YTO Express in Beijing. The company said that the backlog was because many of its employees had not returned from their Spring Festival leave, but normal order was resumed on Saturday. Beijing News commented:

YTO is not the only express delivery company that has suffered from this problem. Companies such as STO and Best Express also had the same trouble.

This has much to do with the business model of the express delivery companies. Since 2005, the express delivery market has grown rapidly in China with the flourishing of e-commerce. In order to grab a large share of the market, some companies have allowed anybody to use their name for franchises if they are willing to pay.

In this way, the express delivery companies expanded quickly, but they lacked control over their franchisees. As a result, there has often been bad news about some of the companies, such as allegations they ignore the rights of their employees or have a bad attitude toward their customers.

The bad behavior of these franchisees hurts the delivery industry as a whole. Some delivery companies have tried to strengthen their governance over franchisees, but their moves have hardly proved effective.

The solution lies in strengthening governance at a higher level. For example, the postal authorities that are in charge of regulating the express industry could register the franchisees of express delivery companies and punish them when they break the regulations. The can also protect the rights of costumers or employees.

That requires the postal authorities to have more power and responsibility. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, is reviewing a draft of the law on e-commerce, and we hope they it will consider the express delivery industry in the process because it is related to the stable development of e-commerce.

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