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Rural deliveries rise, bringing opportunities

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China has set a goal of building a safe, efficient, open and two-way rural delivery network to benefit the rural population by 2025.

China DailyUpdated:  July 27, 2021

China has set a goal of building a safe, efficient, open and two-way rural delivery network to benefit the rural population by 2025.

"By then, parcel delivery outlets will have been set up in every town across China, and services will be extended to every village. This will ensure that agricultural produce can be shipped to cities and consumer goods can be delivered to rural regions," Chen Kai, deputy director of the State Post Bureau, told a news conference on Monday.

He said that by 2025, the capacity of the rural delivery network and the quality of service will be greatly enhanced.

As e-commerce and parcel deliveries have boomed nationwide in recent years, many villagers in remote areas are now able to wear the same fashions as urban residents.

Rural residents have demonstrated a strong appetite and purchasing power. Between January and June, 20 billion parcels were delivered to rural areas, a year-on-year increase of 30 percent. The figure accounts for a third of all parcels handled nationally during the first half of this year.

The delivery system also increases the incomes of farmers and boosts the local economy, Chen said.

Well-known, high-quality agricultural products from various regions have sold well thanks to express delivery services.

Last year, 60 different kinds of produce, including kiwi fruit from Shaanxi province and passion fruit from the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, accounted for 10 million parcels.

Chen admitted that the problem of final-kilometer accessibility remains to be solved, and encouraged collaboration between different parcel delivery companies to overcome the hurdle.

Jin Jinghua, head of the bureau's market inspection department, said it is also practical to work with other sectors like rural bus services, as nearly every village has access to a bus service.

Since 2014, China has carried out a campaign to boost deliveries in rural areas. All county-level regions and 98 percent of town-level areas now have access to express delivery services.

Last year, the bureau launched a three-year campaign to send more parcels to villages.

Jin said the bureau has carried out the plan in accordance with the development of different regions.

In eastern and central China, the market will be leveraged, and enterprises will be shown how to set up outlets in villages to provide better delivery services.

In western China, postal service providers must focus on their role in last-stage delivery, and cooperate more closely with sectors like express delivery, supply and marketing so that delivery services are extended to cover more villages.

China handled 83 billion parcels last year and is expected to handle 95.5 billion this year.