Intensifying competition in China parcel locker market

There have been moves by China’s logistics companies to seize control of the parcel locker market, as competition in the sector intensifies.


Last week, SF Express and China International Marine Containers Group Ltd (CIMC) signed a strategic cooperation agreement to cooperate on transportation, express delivery equipment, technology and funding as well as the China – Europe Railway Express and a number of other activities in the Belt and Road region.


Shenzhen based Hive Box Technology (owned by SF Express) bought CIMC Electricity Commerce and Logistics Company as part of SF’s investment in the parcel locker business. CIMC Electricity Commerce was a subsidiary of CIMC, and was set up in 2014 in Shenzhen. It owns nearly 14,000 smart delivery locker cabinets. Hive Box has a further 60,000 cabinets.


The parcel locker systems are situated in a range of zones in towns and cities, including college campuses, residential communities, office buildings. Where customers cannot pick up their goods, delivery staff will leave them in the parcel lockers. The customers are sent a password to their mobile phones to open the lockers.


Hive has indicated it aims to have 90,000 parcel locker units by the end of 2017 and to deal with 5 million parcels daily, reaching 70% of the market in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai. Industry observers believe that Hive Box will become the industry leader in parcel lockers in the coming years as e-commerce booms in the country.


Other major players include China Post and Sposter who together own 70,000 smart parcel locker cabinets. China’s leading home appliance manufacturer Haier and e-commerce platform, also recently joined the smart locker market.


See Apex Insight report: Global Parcel Shops and Locker Networks: Market Insight Report 2017


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