Deliveries up dramatically since the pandemic started

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Deliveries up dramatically since the pandemic started

Employees at a logistics center in Songpa District, Eastern Seoul, sort parcels on June 9. [YONHAP]

Employees at a logistics center in Songpa District, Eastern Seoul, sort parcels on June 9. [YONHAP]

Koreans are receiving far more packages than they did before the pandemic, with the rate of parcel deliveries for the very young and the old jumping the most.  
 
Food orders have risen especially fast.
 
The Korea Transport Institute ran a survey last November asking participants how many deliveries they received per month before the outbreak of Covid-19 and how many they receive per month since.  
 
Before the pandemic, respondents received an average of 6.2 parcels a month. This increased 57 percent to 9.7 parcels a month by November, they said.
 
For those in their 20s, the increase was 77 percent to 9.5 parcels a month. For those in their 70s, the increase was 63 percent to 8.2 parcels.
 
“This seems to be the result of universities expanding online classes and a stronger tendency of elderly people to avoid risks by going out as they are more vulnerable to infections,” the report said.
 
The survey asked which items the respondents were receiving via parcel delivery.
 
Food deliveries were up 84 percent to 4.0 deliveries per month. Daily necessity deliveries increased 49.6 percent, books 61.7 percent and home electronics 54.7 percent.
 
The demand increase for books and home electronics parcels was relatively new, the report said, as it started to increase as social distancing rules dragged on.
 
“The widened scope of users’ age and product categories in the parcel service segment means that the ongoing increase of deliveries will be a mid-term trend,” the report said.  
 
“By 2020, there were already signs that Korea’s current logistics infrastructure hit a limit, like delayed deliveries and missing parcels. If the current trend continues, it’s likely the current logistics system will not work.”
 
Another noticeable change was found in the way how people received their parcels: Before the pandemic, the number of people who received parcels in person and those who didn’t was largely 50 to 50. But after the Covid-19 spread, that portion shifted to 20 to 80.  
 
Sixty-five percent of respondents said they would prefer receiving parcels without direct contact even after Covid-19 is over.  
 
 

 

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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