Black Friday and Singles’ Day online shopping sprees will drive up global shipping volumes by 50 per cent as Covid-19 boosts e-commerce, says DHL

Daniel Ren
·3 min read

International and Chinese express delivery companies can expect a 50 per cent jump in shipping volumes next month as the mega shopping events Black Friday and Singles’ Day spark a surge in online orders, according to DHL Express.

The courier service giant said in a statement on Wednesday that the Covid-19 pandemic had bolstered e-commerce trade, ushering in stronger demand for shipping.

“Over the years, we have seen consumers and even businesses shift their purchases online, but the pandemic has truly pushed the trend to leapfrog a few years ahead,” said Ken Lee, chief executive of DHL Express Asia-Pacific.

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He added that the upcoming peak season in November with the Black Friday and Singles’ Day shopping bonanzas would present challenging to the logistics industry.

DHL Express has invested 1 billion (US$1.17 billion) this year to improve its infrastructure, network and people.

The company, part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, did not provide absolute figures for the previous or estimated shipping volumes.

Sean Wall, an executive president at DHL Express Asia-Pacific, said in the statement that shipment volumes in the region November would be 30 to 40 per cent higher than last year.

With the increasing volumes coming as Covid-19 continues to spread around the globe, the challenge for logistics providers is tremendous as they have to keep employees safe when dealing with the shipments.

DHL, which has 100,000 employees operating in more than 220 countries and territories, said it provided its staff with face masks and disinfectants, and implemented social distancing and remote working rules to ensure safety.

The company has also removed the need for customers to sign for their shipments.

Black Friday falls on November 27 in the US this year, while China’s Singles’ Day shopping festival takes place on November 11.

The coronavirus outbreak has fired up demand for online shopping, spurring a 35 per cent rise in shipment volumes this year, DHL said.

The shopping events in November will further boost e-commerce trade in China, according to global consultancy Bain & Co.

A Bain survey of mainland Chinese consumers showed that 40 per cent of the respondents plan to increase their spending on November 11.

The annual online shopping event, the world’s largest of its kind, reported a whopping 410 billion yuan (US$61 billion) of sales in 24 hours last year, double what Amazon generates in an entire month.

It is seen by many investors as a proxy for consumer spending in China as well as an important barometer for economic health.

Yan Huiping, chief financial officer of ZTO Express (Cayman), one of the mainland’s largest courier firms, said previously that new technologies and expanded handling capacities would be used on Singles’ Day to help cope with the surging business volumes.

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