Postal service body to smoothen last-mile delivery -
A ZTO Express worker processes packages at a delivery station in Wuhan, Hubei province. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

China will take a string of key measures, such as speeding up the express delivery infrastructure and offering smart delivery services, to tackle last-mile delivery in the country, according to the country's postal service regulator.

Liu Jun, deputy director of the State Post Bureau, said the last-mile delivery is the foundation of the development of the express delivery industry,which is closely linked to the vital interests of couriers, and the sustainable and high-quality development of the industry.

"We will scale up measures to promote the smoother, more efficient and safer last-mile delivery," Liu said at the China Last Mile Conference held in Beijing on Wednesday.

According to Liu, the bureau will make a big push to meticulously implement polices benefiting enterprise, speed up the construction of express delivery infrastructure, develop the new development models of internet-based last-mile delivery, promote the industrial and technological revolution of the last-mile networks construction.

More efforts are also needed to offer express delivery services to villages, promote the coordinated development of e-commerce and postal express delivery both online and offline in rural areas, boost green packaging and management and diversify the offerings, Liu said.

The State Post Bureau, together with other government departments, has recently issued a guideline to offer express delivery services in all administrative villages in China by 2022. So far, 22 provinces have signed agreement for the cooperation of postal services and express delivery, and the total number of village-level e-commerce service sites has reached 310,000, data from the bureau showed.

According to Liu, 302 cities across the nation have issued management policies for last-mile delivery carts. So far, a total of 423,000 sets of smart express boxes were deployed nationwide and the total number of last-mile delivery public service stations reached 109,000.

A report on China's express delivery services was released during the conference, which showed the number of smart express boxes is increasing rapidly. In 2019, the number of express boxes rose by 134,000 sets.