While the Chinese economy may be relatively flatlining, there is one industry that’s still providing us with the sort of astronomical numbers that we’ve come to expect from China.
Last Tuesday, a tea farmer in Guizhou sent out China’s 30 billionth parcel of the year. That’s roughly 2.5 billion packages a month or 82 million a day. It also equates to about 22 packages for every single Chinese citizen, according to data from the State Post Bureau via Caixin.
Since 2012, China’s delivery volume has shot up by over 50% each year. Through the first three quarters of this year, the growth of the courier industry in China was more than six times that of GDP growth.
Nowadays, the vast majority of these billions of deliveries aren’t handled by the state-owned China Post, but by private courier companies who offer cheap home deliveries, connecting China’s online merchants with lazy shoppers.
In recent years, these services have started spreading more and more to the Chinese countryside as companies like Alibaba focus on building up a booming rural e-commerce marketplace,causing “Taobao villages” to pop up around the country.
Of course, another one of Alibaba’s pet projects is its annual Singles Day shopping extravaganza. Once again, the company shattered records this year, resulting in 3.7 billion parcels being shipped out in November alone. This one-armed courier delivered 400 of them in just 15 hours.