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High costs drive up express fees

11-11-2010 08:34 BJT

The ever-growing CPI has driven up the cost of daily necessities, from food prices to winter clothes. Those who shop online are also paying higher costs. This is because delivery companies raised fees this month. Yuan Xiaoyuan takes a closer look at how this is impacting the online shopping industry.

Yuantong express, one of the most popular courier service companies, posted a price hike alert on its website. This is the second time they have raised prices this year, and they are not the only ones to increase fees more than once.

Staff of Ynda Express said, "We now charges six yuan for service to surrounding regions -- one yuan higher than before. The price for long-distance service jumped two yuan to 12 yuan."

It's only a slight increase, but that one to two yuan difference can mean their survival in the industry. Rising fuel prices, and labor costs in recent months is making it harder for them to make ends meet.

For private companies who usually have a narrow profit margin, raising prices is just a matter of time.

Chen Linye, Secretary general of Shanghai Express Industry Association, said, "The express companies should have raised prices earlier due to higher costs. But they didn't do it in fear of losing market share. Now the price adjustment in the whole industry means they couldn't survive without it."

The online shopping industry is the first to feel the impact, because it depends on couriers to deliver commodities to tens of millions of shoppers.

On the country's largest shopping website Taobao.com, many vendors raised their express fees accordingly. But they believe the moderate one-to-two yuan price hike won't have a major affect on their business.

Experts warn the latest price hikes may be temporary. As fuel prices and labor costs keep growing, raising fees may become a frequent tool for express companies to ensure profits.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV

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