Logistics crisis put off as ‘carparazzi’ plan is re-thought
A major logistics crisis that was expected next month is seen as having been delayed as local governments in Seoul and Gyeonggi have watered down their plan to crackdown on unregistered parcel delivery trucks.
They were planning to adopt a system that would reward citizens who report such trucks. The informers have been dubbed “carparazzi,” a combination of car and paparazzi.
However, the plan backfired due to strong protests, not only from parcel truck drivers, but also from small and midsize logistics companies that rely on such deliveries.
Seoul City Council backtracked on Wednesday, whereas the Gyeonggi government passed the bill but is expected to delay its implementation until next year at the earliest.
Industry insiders feared the move; if carried out, it would cause a shortage of drivers.
Of the total 37,000 delivery cars in the country, about 15,000, or 41 percent, were not registered for business use as of April, according to the Korea Integrated Logistics Association.
“More than 60 percent of package deliveries are carried out in Seoul and Gyeonggi, so if drivers stop delivering, it could be critical,” said Bae Myeong-soon, a director general at the Korea Integrated Logistics Association.
“Also, once the carparazzi system takes effect, more police officers will regularly check to see if there are any unregistered vehicles making deliveries as citizens keep reporting cases.”
Bae said that 45 drivers were caught on Wednesday alone in Bucheon, Gyeonggi.
The total number of packages being delivered tripled last year to 1.32 billion from 430 million in 2003.
The government has not processed any requests to grant companies with more registrations for delivery vehicles.
Bae said the logistics companies acknowledge that operating unregistered vehicles is illegal, but that they need them to handle the surge in deliveries.
“We oppose the idea of having [carparazzi] because it was the government that failed to predict the demand for such vehicles,” said Bae.
The Ministry of Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs said it has not granted any new registrations because it decided that supply balances demand, according to its annual market research. But it issued a notice in April saying that it will allow more vehicles weighing less than 1.5 tons.
The ministry said it gave the Seoul city government background information on the logistics industry when it heard the city was considering introducing the carparazzi system.
“We never advised them to not go ahead with it. We just gave them information on the pros and cons of such a system,” said Park Hyo-cheol, an official at the ministry’s logistics industry division.
However, the ministry was not aware that the Gyeonggi province was pursuing the same system until after the bill was passed on June 7.
“The government acknowledges that more delivery cars are needed,” said Bae.
“It really needs to expedite the process so drivers and customers are not inconvenienced.”
By Lee Sun-min [firstname.lastname@example.org]
More in Economy
Tapped out and hunkered down, Korea stares recession in the face
Property owners get big tax shock
Household debt keeps climbing despite gov't efforts
Career interruptions due to marriage and childbirth down 11 percent
Despite vaccine shot in the arm, credit risk remains in markets