China's parcel delivery sector has set a record by handling more than 100 billion parcels this year by Dec 8, ranking top in the world for the eighth consecutive year, the industry's regulator, the State Postal Bureau of China said.
The 100 billionth parcel was sent by a tangerine grower in a village in Sichuan province to a customer in Xi'an, Shaanxi province.
"We picked the tangerines from trees yesterday, took them to the parcel delivery station in the village first thing in the morning, and packed and sent them," said Zhang Furong, the tangerine farmer, adding that the customer in Xi'an should receive the package on Dec 9.
"The fast delivery service ensures our tangerines can be sent to customers in a short time, ensuring that they remain juicy and tasty," she said, hoping the 100 billionth parcel could bring good luck to her and local farmers, and help them sell more citrus fruit this season.
The package of tangerines was handled by ZTO Express, one of China's major parcel delivery companies.
China's parcel delivery business has boomed in the past decade along with the nation's e-commerce sector.
"China has established a parcel delivery network extending to rural and urban areas across the country and connecting with the world, serving nearly 700 million users a day," said Chen Kai, deputy head of the State Postal Bureau of China.
"The service, linking millions of households, has become an inseparable part of Chinese people's lives. The network covers all counties and townships and is being extended to villages. More and more farmers have become richer thanks to the development of the network," he added.
He added that the quality of the service has also improved, with the adoption of advanced technology such as big data, artificial intelligence and Beidou navigation services.
The bureau established a big data platform in 2009, which traces, monitors and collects information of each parcel, user and courier.
The big data platform aims to analyze the industry with real-time data and provide a better service.
"The platform has served as the industry's 'brain' to monitor and analyze the operation of parcel delivery services in China," said Xu Liangfeng, deputy director of the data management department of the bureau's safety center.
"For example, the center can estimate the peak day during the Singles' Day shopping spree, and allow companies to better prepare for it to avoid a backlog of parcels and delays," he said.
"We can also easily tell that one-third of parcels are sent to rural areas thanks to the platform," he said, adding that the next step is to better use the big data to provide an improved service.
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