China set a record by handling 639 million parcels on Saturday, demonstrating the resilience and vitality of China's economic development, the State Post Bureau of China said on Sunday.
The volume was 1.87 times that of regular days, with a year-on-year increase of 15.76 percent, the bureau said. Nov 11, also known as Double 11, is one of China's most important online shopping festivals.
More than 5.26 billion parcels were handled between Nov 1 and Saturday, an increase of 23.22 percent compared with the same period of last year. During this time, the average daily volume was 1.4 times that of off-peak days, according to the bureau.
The express delivery volume during the Double 11 festival period once again set a new record, indicating the recovery of the consumer market and demonstrating the resilience and vitality of China's economic development.
This year, most online stores offered big sales on two days — Nov 1 and Saturday, with discounts and coupons on offer on the days in between.
According to the bureau, the parcel delivery sector has integrated with the e-commerce and manufacturing sectors, creating a record high in the volume of parcels handled on Nov 11.
In the past, customers frequently complained about parcels being delivered late, well after Double 11, with a large number of packages overcrowding distribution centers. Following the integration of the parcel delivery industry with the e-commerce industry chain, a large number of preordered goods are now kept ready at the warehouses of parcel delivery firms.
SF Express is one such major parcel delivery company in China that stores preordered products in its warehouses to make the delivery process fast during Double 11.
Before Double 11, SF Express expanded its fast delivery service to more than 200 cities in China. The company cooperated with e-commerce stores and brands to allocate popular and preordered products in advance and stored them in SF's warehouses across the country.
According to the company, more than 230 million parcels were allocated to 11 warehouses nationwide. When the presale began, the parcels could be delivered to customers within half a day.
Liang Yinghua, head of YTO Express in Dongxing, a county-level border city in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, said the increase in volume of parcels during the Double 11 this year was about 20 percent more compared with off-peak days.
Thanks to setting up of more warehouses and extending the time for the shopping spree, the increase in volume was gradual and orderly, he said.
"Now, it is rare to see parcels overcrowding distribution centers," he said, adding that the preparation for the Double 11 festival included inspection of vehicles and equipment and adding more staff to the front line.
The peak season for China's parcel delivery sector began on Nov 1 this year and will last for 102 days, according to the bureau.
China's parcel delivery sector has boomed over the past decade. As of October, China handled more than 100 billion parcels this year. In 2013, the annual figure was less than 9.2 billion.
The sector's vitality has demonstrated that China's economy has continued to improve, the bureau said.