Legislation aims to ease delivery concernsThe Ministry of Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs announced yesterday it would introduce legislation to ease regulations to allow logistics companies to use privately owned trucks to deliver parcels.
Earlier this year, regional governments announced they would crack down on privately owned trucks being used for parcel deliveries.
When truck owners and small and midsize companies that rely on such services protested, the governments quickly backed down.
Under the proposed legislation, owners of private trucks will be required to fill out an application to have their vehicles approved for delivery of small parcels.
Owners would be banned from handling larger cargo. In addition, they would not be able to transfer their approval for three years.
Of an estimated 37,000 delivery vehicles in Korea, about 15,000, or 41 percent, were not registered for business use as of April, according to the Korea Integrated Logistics Association.
The total number of packages delivered last year was 1.32 billion, compared to 430 million in 2003.
However, the government recently rejected requests from companies for more delivery-vehicle registrations.
But the ministry has acknowledged that the market for small parcel delivery has skyrocketed in the past decade as consumers buy more and more products through online shopping malls or home shopping channels.
The sharp rise in demand for such deliveries has resulted in higher numbers of unauthorized trucks that deliver parcels.
The new measure is intended to increase the number of small-parcel delivery trucks and “enable drivers to operate legally,” said an official at the Transportation Ministry.
The new measure is expected to take effect as early as October.
“Due to the limitation on the permits, there have been numerous side effects, including selling authorized parcel trucks with additional premiums,” the official said.
Although logistics companies acknowledge that operating unregistered vehicles is illegal, they contend they are necessary to handle the surge in deliveries.
To crack down on illegally operated delivery vehicles, the Seoul and Gyeonggi governments in June considered the adoption of a system that would reward citizens who report violators.
The system was dubbed “carparazzi,” a combination of car and paparazzi. Industry insiders feared the move, if carried out, would cause a shortage of drivers.
By Lee Sun-min [email@example.com]
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