Multiple logistics indexes have recently reversed their downward trajectories with improvements in market demand and business operations, indicating China’s economic engine is on track to make a comeback thanks to concerted pro-growth policies.
During last week’s national holiday, China’s express delivery firms were swamped with orders, handling more than 4.1 billion parcels in total, according to the State Post Bureau.
An industry index shows the country’s courier market bounced back from its previous lows to become brisk in September, a usually buoyant month.
The China express delivery development index, a measure of overall express delivery business activities and trends, came in at 353.1 last month, up 13.5 percent month on month.
The e-commerce logistics index reversed August’s contraction to climb to 108.1, close to this year’s high of 108.9 logged in February, according to a survey jointly conducted by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) and e-commerce giant JD.com.
And improvements are not limited to the e-commerce sector. The index tracking the country’s logistics market performance stood at 50.6 percent in September, up 4.3 percentage points from August, reversing a two-month losing streak, according to the CFLP.
Hu Han, a researcher at the China Logistics Information Center, attributed to the rebound to the implementation of macro policies, the steady recovery of household consumption, rapid growth in energy and logistics, as well as the restoration of the logistics supply capacity.
Most sub-indexes edged up last month. The sub-index for new orders came in at 50.1 percent, up 3.2 percentage points from August, indicating an increase in orders and the recovery of demand in the logistics market, said He Hui, assistant president of the CFLP.
The country’s logistics infrastructure was smooth overall in September, Hu said, noting the strong resilience of the e-commerce express network as indicated by the rapid recovery of business volume and new order sub-indexes.
Due to increases in orders and revenues, the profitability of enterprises of varying sizes showed signs of improvement, Hu said, adding that firms’ performances in the third quarter were significantly stronger than in the previous quarter.
“As policies to stabilize the economy and support enterprises gradually took effect, business operations in the logistics sector have seen overall improvement,” Hu said.
This year, China unveiled a package of measures to tackle COVID-induced disruptions and coordinate pandemic control. In late September, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged policy implementation and called for efforts to guarantee smooth logistics and a steady supply of coal and electricity.
Looking ahead, analysts say that complicated international economic situations, resurgences of COVID-19 cases in several regions and feeble demand may combine to weigh on logistics operations in the fourth quarter.