Cainiao Smart Logistics, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, said it delivered five times more parcels during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday in China compared to last year as the public deferred from travelling but sent packages to their loved ones instead.
"The seven-day Lunar New Year public holiday has just ended in China. In compliance with the government’s advocacy for Chinese citizens to avoid unnecessary travel during the holiday season, the number of domestic travellers has reduced by 76% as compared to that in 2019. As such, we have witnessed a new trend of loved ones sending each other festive goods all across China," it said in a statement.
"This year, largely due to the restricted travel, the number of courier deliveries nationwide increased by more than five times over the seven-day period."
Cainiao said the "sharp increase" could be attributed to the new trend of children residing in urban cities purchasing and sending Lunar New Year (LNY) goods for their parents back in their rural hometowns, with the provinces in the Central and Western parts of China such as Anhui, Hunan, Guangxi, Jiangxi, Hubei, sending the largest volume of LNY goods.
Cities receiving parcels are lower-tier cities such as Chuzhou, Xinyang, Bozhou, Chenzhou, Fuyang, Laibin, Enshi, Xianning, Yiyang, Shaoyang and so on.
In the same way, Cainiao noted that families from rural areas were also sending parcels to their children in urban cities.
"According to data from the State Post Bureau, over 130 million pieces were handled by courier delivery nationwide on the eve, first and second day of Lunar New Year in 2021, up 223% year-on-year," it said.
Among them, 50,000 Cainiao pickup stations across the country remained open and more than 100,000 people stayed on duty to provide logistics services throughout the festive period.
Earlier, the Chinese logistics company launched a nationwide campaign to keep logistics operations open throughout the festive season which served as a channel for families to stay connected despite the physical distance due to risks of COVID-19.