For four years in a row, China has been delivering the world’s largest express delivery volume, exceeding 40 billion consignments in 2017 (see here). In comparison: The German express delivery volume was projected to reach more than 3,3 billion for the same year (see here). As a result of a stronger Chinese e-commerce sector, the express delivery industry has been rapidly growing for a decade, which has consequently increased traffic volume. This has several negative effects on traffic as well as on the environment: Increased congestion causes noise pollution and affects air quality due to higher emissions, which in turn impacts urban Chinese living quality.
In the “Provisional Regulations for Express Delivery in China”, the Chinese State Council stipulates guidelines to promote the domestic express delivery industry. While the regulations focus on safe deliveries and improving the overall situation within this sector, the State Council also suggests various measures to enhance express delivery efficiency, such as integrating state-of-the-art technology in delivery operations and resource pooling among different express delivery businesses.
While concrete measures on designing environment-friendly express delivery play a minor role in these regulations, raising overall efficiency within this industry certainly bears the potential to reduce congestion on intensively frequented Chinese streets, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. One way or another, these regulations may indirectly contribute to the overall aim to make China’s transportation more sustainable, as formulated in the 13th Five-Year-Plan.
The English translation of the document can be found here.