A ZTO Express worker processes packages at a delivery station in Wuhan, Hubei province. (Zhu Xingxin / China Daily)
A campaign to crack down on illegal activities in the mail and express delivery sector has been carried out with the aim of promoting delivery safety, the State Post Bureau of China said recently.
The six-month campaign was carried out by 17 government departments, including the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
In recent years, crimes involving the delivery of illegal items have occurred from time to time. A wide variety of items are either prohibited or restricted for delivery in China, including drugs, guns, dangerous chemicals, wild animals and plants and their derivatives, as well as products associated with invasive foreign species.
According to the bureau, to win the battle, risk control in mail and package delivery must be improved, and safety measures such as inspections throughout the process, the use of real names for senders and recipients and safety checks by machines should be strictly implemented.
The bureau has also asked regional postal bureaus to carry out training on the identification of prohibited, special and sensitive items to raise awareness of safety precautions and improve the ability to cope with incidents.
The bureau stated that illegal activity must be heavily punished, that inspections will be implemented online and offline, and that every step in the delivery process must be scrutinized to uncover possible crimes.
It also noted that companies in the sector must be more alert and shoulder the responsibility of improving inspections, discovering safety hazards and rectifying problems accordingly and urged companies to strictly follow safety protocols.
The campaign focused on improving safety management throughout the process of delivery. The management of personal information must be strengthened, and the mailing of dangerous chemicals, counterfeit currency, fake drugs and counterfeit goods must be stopped.
The supervision of the delivery of inbound and outbound goods and of tobacco must also be strengthened.
China has a well-established logistics and delivery industry with a high level of security and efficiency.
Many major logistics companies use advanced methodologies such as 24-hour monitoring of packages, the use of digital signatures for tracking goods and strict package-checking procedures to ensure safety.
China's parcel delivery sector has undergone rapid development over the past decade, with volumes increasing from 5.6 billion items in 2012 to 110 billion items last year, and is still expanding. As of May 4, it handled more than 40 billion parcels, demonstrating national economic recovery and reflecting growth in consumer confidence, according to the bureau.
It took 24 more days for the sector to handle the same number of parcels last year, and four more months in 2019.