Will this year’s double 11 go smoothly with courier strikes on the horizon?

Double 11 gradually approaching, in order to meet the year’s most important shopping feast, many e-commerce platforms are shaking their fists, fully prepared.

But in a feverish scene, but suddenly emerged discordant voice: many couriers in a general strike. Double 11 is just around the corner, according to reason, this is also the most profitable time for many couriers, strike tide why would appear at this time?


The benefits are getting better and the employees are making less and less.

Since March this year, the network has frequently appeared on the express business points closed, the news of defaulted courier wages. Such as Hunan Changsha Yunda Express Guanshaling service station was exposed due to mismanagement, resulting in staff wages are owed for months, a large number of express ticket squeeze; Nanjing Jiangning two Best Express owes workers three months wages, couriers collective strike, but was asked to compensate the express point 1 million yuan fine.

According to statistics, there are 23 strikes in the courier industry in 2020. In fact, the real strikes may be far more than that. Although a number of courier companies, such as Yuantong, Zhongtong and Shentong, have responded that there is no strike problem, but the paper is always unable to cover the fire.

All along, we all think that the courier is a multi-working occupation, “monthly salary easily over ten thousand”, this is the courier income tag in the eyes of many people. But as the competition in the courier industry has become increasingly fierce, courier companies continue to reduce costs, and the burden transferred to the courier.

So why is the courier industry will have a spate of large strikes, is the recent industry downturn?

This year, the house economy is hot, courier orders have greatly increased, courier companies are widely sought after in the capital markets, either financing or mergers and acquisitions, have hit a new high share price. The courier strike is not because of a slump in development, but rather because of internal price competition due to the market expanding too quickly.

So, although the courier industry’s business volume has been growing, but the first-line courier delivery fee has declined significantly, and there is no guaranteed wage, caught in the strange circle of “incremental not revenue”. In August this year, the courier industry single volume year-on-year growth of 36.5%, but SF, Shentong, Yunda and Roundtree and other giants of the single ticket revenue drop of more than 20%, especially Yunda, down 33.8% year-on-year.

What might have been a hard day’s work to make $200 a day, cheap dispatch fees have made life even harder. The obvious work experience for couriers now is that the number of deliveries per day is obviously more, but the money they make is less. The more tired the work, the less pay.

Faced with huge pressure, huge workload and mismatched income, couriers will naturally explode.


Victims of the price war

In recent years, the courier industry has been developing rapidly, and the emergence of black technology such as smart services, big data decision making, trunk transport and transit centers are all capital for courier companies to promote their high-tech attributes to the industry. But no matter how smart the technology, at least at this stage, the courier industry can not get rid of manpower and alone.

The last kilometer problem delayed solution, indifference to the courier to pay, to chase the horse before the cart chase at this stage can not get off the ground technology, the development of the courier enterprises too fast, but lost their original intention. Seeking a long-term future is not the same as ignoring the realities of the current situation. If you can not achieve balance, the strike in the courier industry may just be the beginning.

All kinds of problems stemmed from the industry’s increased competition leading to price wars, but low price competition is not completely paid by the capital side, but passed on to the courier. Like the delivery workers trapped in the system discussed heatedly some time ago, they are victims of capital confrontation, are couriers and delivery workers, can only choose a fish-out-of-water strike in order to keep the industry running?

Some users on social media platforms to tan their own logistics information, have said that the delivery of a long delay in the complaint has no way. “Do not send XX Express, has been on strike,” “I heard that seems to be on strike,” “XX Express strike it,” and so on posts everywhere, designed areas both Courier outlets in remote towns and villages, as well as in first-tier cities such as Shanghai.

In the environment of the slowdown in e-commerce growth, the courier industry added a new round of reshuffling. The price war originated in last year’s Yiwu Express price war, since the outbreak of the epidemic in February this year, the national highway toll-free and superimposed on the decline in oil prices, making the cost of courier companies to further decline, which allows the platform to fight for market share intensified ambition, but also to drive a more intense price war.

But the cost of low-price competition, the bottom of the labor and capital side did not share, only the enterprise to enjoy the profits of rapid growth, the cost is crudely transferred to the industry system at the end of the courier network and couriers.

In the price war, reduce the source of goods to receive fees, while the other costs have been fixed, and eventually continue to compress the inevitable is not much courier delivery fee.


What’s wrong with the courier industry?

In addition to couriers, grassroots outlets are also being hit. Companies in order to seize the market, not only to make courier fees cheaper, the ability to receive the package also needs to be enhanced. A lot of courier companies are designated to the grass-roots network to receive the target, such as can not be completed, will face a series of vicious fines, receive less, the heavier the fine, the greater the loss. The various types of fines, will always be shared in various ways to the courier body.

Under tremendous pressure, many courier outlets have closed down and stopped working, and recently in the news there are a number of township and county courier outlets have issued a statement: stop express agents, stop sending.

What’s more, online stores are closing down, and the wages owed to workers are flying off the shelves.

The courier industry can’t grow without the bottom-line workers on the front lines, but the capitalists keep trying to push the workers into worse situations. Price wars between platforms are bound to intensify as Double Eleven approaches, but a collective strike by frontline employees is also bound to have a major impact on this.

Will e-commerce platforms and merchants be able to take on the bulk of Double Eleven orders at a time when the delivery industry is generating turmoil? Shentong, Zhongtong, Yuantong and Best World have all released statements saying that the express network is running smoothly and that there are no strikes at their outlets.

Who are we supposed to believe?

It’s also worth mentioning that the rise of other delivery industries has contributed to the decline in couriers’ income. For example, we are familiar with the delivery industry, as early as last year, the number of domestic delivery workers exceeded the number of couriers.

Compared to courier delivery, where revenues are declining, the price advantage of delivery has become quite obvious. With the relatively stable landscape of the takeaway industry, both Hungry and Meituan no longer need to fight price wars.

Although these two platforms also have a lot of shortcomings, but the takeaway buddies are still secure in terms of income, so now more and more couriers are switching to delivery. This has undoubtedly further exacerbated the conflicts in the courier industry.


concluding remarks

In fact, it does not matter whether the strike rumors are true or not, the courier price war is non-stop, and the perfect management mechanism is slow to appear, such news will always exist, and the denial of major courier companies will always continue.

Express delivery as a key link in the e-commerce ecosystem, not only this time the Double Eleven, and our daily shopping experience.

The express delivery giants should be concerned, not how to cover up the facts, but how to solve the industry’s shortcomings and pain points, otherwise this year’s business volume of more than 60 billion pieces of industry, sooner or later, there will be a huge thunderstorm.