Courier service delivers better life to Tibetan border counties

(Xinhua) 16:16, February 28, 2023

LHASA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- In a border police station in Tsona County under Shannan City, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, deputy director Hou Qiang unpacked a parcel filled with local specialties from his hometown, several thousand km away in Sichuan Province.

The police station administers a canyon with an altitude drop of more than 1,000 meters from the county seat. The spot used to be a blind zone for courier services.

"Now, after placing an order, the goods will arrive on my doorstep. So convenient," Hou said.

By the end of 2021, postal outlets had covered all 21 border counties and townships under them in the autonomous region. The government in Shannan also invested funds to subsidize private express delivery outlets in border counties.

As one of the border counties in Shannan, Tsona has an average elevation of over 4,000 meters and cold weather all year round.

"There are more than nine months of the year equivalent to winter. Frostbitten hands and cracked lips are common," said Guo Lei, manager of a courier service outlet in Tsona.

According to Guo, the express delivery, with more than 240 km for a single trip that involves getting over four mountains over 4,000 meters high, usually starts at 7 a.m. and ends after 9 p.m.

Guo has been working like this for nine years, delivering countless packages to various parts of the county, including Hou's.

Since the Spring Festival, the number of parcels at Guo's outlets has exceeded 200 daily, and four staff members were often busy until midnight.

Nowadays, people coming to work in Tsona can receive parcels from their hometowns. Residents can also send specialties to their relatives studying and working elsewhere.

"We can also deliver perishable things such as yak butter by air," Guo added.

Many residents put on their Tibetan-style clothes bought online during the Tibetan New Year. Locally-produced tea, herbs, and milk products are also sold nationwide through the express delivery network.

Fu Xiangfu recalled that many residents did not know about courier services in 2016 when he first came to Xigaze to expand the delivery network. "They didn't even know how to send or receive parcels," Fu said.

He says over 10,000 parcels were handled daily on the busiest days during the Tibetan New Year.

Data from the regional post administration showed that 178.8 million postal deliveries were made throughout Tibet in 2022. A total of 138 border villages now have postal services, and the delivery frequency will reach three times a week in 2024.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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