Post Bureau hands down first fine for poor parcel handling

13:39, January 31, 2011      

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A worker carries a parcel at a courier's branch in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, on Jan 23. (Photo: China Daily)

The State Post Bureau has fined the Shanghai Jinqiao division of Shentong Express 10,000 yuan ($1,520) for rough handling of parcels.

It is the first time the bureau has imposed such a punishment against a courier for rough handling.

The headquarters of Shentong Express, one of the largest couriers in China, has also ordered its Jinqiao division to suspend operations for a month and has imposed its own fine of 50,000 yuan.

Public criticism of the "violent" parcel-sorting method began when a netizen uploaded a video clip of sorting being done at the division.

The one-minute clip, shot with a mobile phone video camera, showed workers furiously distributing goods, kicking parcels and throwing items to the ground.

The spokesman for the Beijing division of Shentong Express said after the release of the video clip that the rough sorting method was unavoidable at the time due to a lack of automatic sorting equipment, local media reported.

Many netizens expressed concern that the inappropriate sorting method would damage their goods, as more and more people are purchasing items from online websites, and these are usually delivered by couriers.

According to a survey conducted by China E-business Research Center, express companies that handle online goods earned more than 40 billion yuan in 2010, a 108.5 percent increase compared with 2009 figures.

"They deserve this punishment," a netizen called laixiong0621 wrote on a micro blog when describing his experience of receiving a computer from Shentong Express.

"Thanks to their excellent service, I received a broken computer," he wrote.

The Postal Law states that customers can claim compensation at the insured or original price for both insured and uninsured goods damaged during delivery. However, many netizens said they have had problems claiming compensation from couriers.

"Our goods were valued at 30,000 yuan, but we only got 300 yuan compensation," a Guangzhou-based netizen called benbensophia wrote on her micro blog.

Express services have lagged behind the booming e-business sector, said Fang Yinzhi, an analyst at China E-business Research Center. Fang said that poor supervision, a lack of self-regulation and poor industry standards were the main reasons for the slow development.

(Source: China Daily)
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