“I would rather believe that there are ghosts than the increase in delivery fees.” Liu Ming, a Best courier in Wuhan, sent this sentence to the China-Singapore Jingwei reporter with three “crying” expressions. The delivery fee is the money given to the courier for each delivery. Regarding the increase in the distribution fee, Liu Qingqing had really expected it. In mid-September, Liu Ming heard the branch boss mention the increase in distribution fees, but he didn’t know the reason, so there was no more information.
Until one day in October, Liu Ming swiped a short video on the social platform of a courier’s salary increase, saying that he could earn more than 1,000 yuan a month. He immediately asked in the comment area, “Which site did you receive it? At least I didn’t.” He found that in the comment area, there are still many couriers who have sent the same question.
In fact, at the end of August, six express delivery companies, Zhongtong, Yuantong, Shentong, Best, Yunda, and Jitu, announced that they would increase the end delivery fee of 0.1 yuan per ticket since September 1. In addition, express delivery prices have also entered an upward channel.
Since September, a number of express companies including the “Three Links and One Da” (Zhongtong, YTO, Shentong, Yunda), Best, and Jitu have started the “price increase model” in Yiwu, Zhejiang. On October 8, four express delivery companies, including Zhongtong and YTO, started to regulate the service prices in the express delivery market, and regulated the prices of express delivery that were lower than actual operating costs.
The price of express delivery has risen, and the delivery fee has also risen. Liu Ming is a little puzzled, why his salary has not risen? How many couriers like him did not receive the increase in delivery fees?
The delivery fee goes up, courier brother: Where?
Three years later, Liu Ming’s salary was less than that when he first joined the trade.
After busy working all day, Liu Ming can send about 400 orders at a cost of 0.8 yuan per order. Excluding the expenses of express cabinets and post stations, he gets about 200 yuan a day.
“In the past, there were few express cabinets and no post. When it was good, we could send 300 orders a day, and the delivery fee was 0.9 yuan a single order. Also because of the few stations, we picked up more packages, and we could make almost 9,000 yuan a month.” Liu Explained.
But starting in 2020, Liu Ming’s distribution fee has dropped by 0.1 yuan “without warning”. What made him even more strange was that his counterparts from other courier companies in his usual delivery area were gradually reduced in delivery fees during that period, “as if they had been negotiated.”
Zhou Xin and her husband opened a rookie inn in Nanchang, Jiangxi. They are both the owner and courier. According to Zhou Xin, their distribution fee will also be reduced in 2020, from 0.75 yuan per order to 0.7 yuan.
The shop rent is getting more and more expensive, but the delivery fee has dropped, which puts Zhou Xin under a lot of pressure. She also noticed, “Because of this, there are fewer and fewer people doing express delivery around.”
Zhou Xin and her husband are basically open throughout the year, working together for more than ten hours a day, and can deliver 600 orders a day. Zhou Xin also learned about the increase in distribution fees through reading the news, but at their station, no express company notified the increase in distribution fees.
“I said that the distribution fee would be reduced by 0.1 yuan a year ago. If it is not reduced now, is it even an increase?” Zhou Xin did not dare to ask the courier company. That’s not bad, let alone an increase.”
Zhang Qi, the younger brother of Zhongtong Express in Yunnan, also told the Zhongxin Jingwei reporter that the delivery fee in his area has been falling since 2020. “At the highest time, each order could reach 1.2 yuan, but now it is only 0.7 yuan.”
However, there are indeed couriers who have received increased distribution fees. A courier guy at a Zhongtong branch in Wangjing, Beijing, told a reporter from China-Singapore Jingwei that since the delivery fee increased by 0.1 yuan per order, he could get an extra 800-900 yuan per month starting from September this year.
The question is, if the courier company clearly increases the delivery fee, why some couriers have not received the money? Several couriers interviewed all speculated that there was a problem with the outlets.
The reporter of China-Singapore Jingwei noted that in the notice of the increase in delivery fees, Zhongtong and YTO clearly mentioned that the increased delivery fees will be directly sent to the delivery salesperson, and the franchised outlets shall not be intercepted at will. The outlets have existing payment services. The staff’s standard for dispatching fees shall not be lowered either.
However, it is not known how the franchise outlets perform. “The boss can’t make any money, so how can he increase the distribution fee for you?” Zhou Xin didn’t believe that the money would increase, but worried that “the wool will end up on the sheep.”
Zhao Xiaomin, deputy director of the Post and Express Special Committee of the Shanghai Transportation Commission, visited a number of express company outlets during the National Day in 2021. He told reporters from China-Singapore Jingwei that the delivery fee of couriers at some outlets did increase, but there was also a considerable part of express staff. Not only did it not grow, but it fell.
“I have received some information in the last few days. Many courier delivery fees have indeed not risen.” Zhao Xiaomin said in an interview with a reporter from China-Singapore Jingwei on the 28th. The money was not sent at all, but it was revealed that there was a problem with the internal network supervision and feedback mechanism of the express company.”
“After all, the courier took everything.” Zhou Xin said.
In response to the delivery fee-related issues reported by the couriers, reporters from Sino-Singapore Jingwei sent interview requests to courier companies such as Best and Zhongtong, but no response was received as of press time.
Increase in distribution fees: the antidote to the price war sequelae?
There is a background to the increase in distribution fees.
Since 2019, the express delivery industry has experienced a rather fierce price war. But over time, the drawbacks of the express delivery price war began to appear, and the quality of express delivery services was not satisfactory. For example, at the end, non-delivery, non-calling to notify, and the signatory showing “water meter room” have become the norm, and consumers have complained about it.
To solve the negative reaction brought about by the price war, on the one hand, we must control the disorderly price war in the express market. On the other hand, it is to improve the treatment of couriers and protect their rights.
However, Zhao Xiaomin said that at present, the distribution fee has increased by 0.1 yuan, which is not very strong, and even unable to effectively solve the problem. “Express companies need to make greater efforts to enhance their network competitiveness, including reshaping their business models, improving courier protection mechanisms, transfer efficiency, etc., so that they have the confidence to increase prices.” Zhao Xiaomin said.
Liu Ming was a little frustrated when he couldn’t get the distribution fee, and he also had the idea of changing careers. In the third year, he has forgotten why he had to do express delivery in the first place. He only remembered that when he first started, he lived a “decent life” with a salary of 9,000 yuan.
(In the text, Liu Ming and Zhou Xin are pseudonyms)