China Incorporates Rail Networks into E-Commerce Fulfilment

By Campbell Phillips | 30 Jun 2014

The growing Chinese courier industry has worked together to begin shipping e-commerce freight between the country’s four largest cities.

With e-commerce on the rise in China, subsidiary industries have also seen plenty of new growth in the region, including the delivery couriers that fulfil online purchases. Now those couriers have extended network to include China’s railways.

Specifically, trains running between Shanghai and Shenzen are to be launched in partnership between the China Express Association (CEA) and the China Railway Corporation (CRC), making their debut journey on July 1.

The eventuating freight network has been designed in accordance with a survey carried out by the CRC, which identified the need to provide at least six trains to connect the four first-tier cities – Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzen.

When assessing the rise and impacts of e-commerce in China, most people discuss the rising middle class and the fact that many consumers don’t necessarily live in the urban centres. As a result of these factors, China’s courier industry has quickly developed into one of the world’s largest, delivering 9.2 billion parcels jun 2013 – a 60 percent increase on the previous year.

The CEA said in the recent announcement that China’s rail infrastructure had been hardly considered for e-commerce deliveries until now, having been involved in less than one percent of all fulfilment. However, that may now change with the transport mode being hailed as much more efficient than other freight options.


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