China’s couriers raise price ahead of Single’s Day shopping frenzy

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Prior to the Single’s Day shopping craze, China’s two major courier services ZTO Express and Yunda Express announced this week that they are raising prices.

ZTO Express posted an announcement on its official website on Wednesday, stating that delivery fees are subject to variation due to the rising costs of transportation, labor, and packaging materials. Yunda Express also released a statement, suggesting that the company is adjusting the price as the market becomes more mature and costs rise.

ZTO Express customer service told TechNode over the phone that the reference price for an express delivery from Beijing to Shanghai starts at RMB 15 ($2.27) for the first kilogram and is RMB 10 ($1.5) for each extra kilogram. The customer representative said that this is the price after the adjustment but might vary depending on local operators. On the other hand, Yunda Express’s customer service told TechNode that the adjusted price starts at RMB 15 ($2.27) and is RMB 12 ($1.8) for each extra kilo for an express delivery from Beijing to Shanghai.

It’s worth noting that the announcements come a month ahead of China’s Black Friday—Double Eleven Single’s Day shopping spree on November 11. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba first kicked off the shopping festival a decade ago on its online marketplace Taobao and then on Tmall. Since then, the shopping frenzy has leveled up to a national consumption festival, smashing historical records every year.

Local media are reporting that this marks the sign that the price war of Chinese delivery companies might end soon, where companies have been competing with low prices. However, it remains uncertain if the couriers can take in the overwhelming costs of packaging during the Single’s Day shopping craze given that the cost of materials is on the rise. The market may as well signal the wave with stocks of several courier services shooting up as soon as ZTO and Yunda announced the price rise.

Additional reporting from Rita Liao