|Employees at an express-shipping distribution center in Jiangsu province prepare packages for delivery. China's express industry had 106 billion yuan ($17.02 billion) in revenue last year, a year-on-year increase of 40 percent. (Photo/China Daily)|
Last year saw 5.7 billion packages delivered through express services in China, prompting analysts to speculate over whether the country has surpassed Japan to become the world's second-largest market for express deliveries.
Ma Junsheng, director-general of the State Post Bureau of China, said on Thursday that China's postal industry made significant strides in 2012, with the domestic express industry earning 106 billion yuan ($17.02 billion) in revenue last year, a year-on-year increase of 40 percent.
The number of packages delivered in 2012 was up 55 percent from the previous year, Ma said, and he expects the figure to increase by 40 percent this year, hitting 8 billion.
Xu Yong, chief consultant with the express and logistics website www.cecss.com, said China has already emerged as the world's second-biggest market for express deliveries.
The website estimates Japan saw about 5.5 billion package deliveries in 2012, and the United States saw 7.5 billion.
"But China's express market is still in its initial stage of development," Xu said. "Compared with developed economies, China lags behind in the diversity and quality of its services."
The express market has grown so quickly because China has a large population and the government has put a lot of effort into stimulating domestic consumption, Xu said.
"Online shopping relies on express services," he said. "More young people are surfing the Internet and prefer to use e-commerce. This will inevitably prompt the development of the domestic express industry."
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