Experts suggest using legal means to cool down the price war for express delivery    Is the price of

  express delivery down to the "1 yuan era" is it worry or joy?

  ● Judging from the current situation, the price of the entire express delivery industry is not controlled by the express delivery industry. It is more that e-commerce uses its own resource advantages to lower the express delivery industry prices and have the pricing power.

  ● Excessively low prices lead to vicious competition among enterprises, and they are unable to function well.

Some companies will be eliminated, but this is not simply the survival of the fittest. If this form of elimination is allowed, it may eventually lead to the collapse of the entire industry ecosystem.

  ● Revise relevant laws and regulations to straighten out the relationship between the upstream and downstream of the industry chain, and make e-commerce platforms, express companies and recipients become equal partners for cooperation. This is the solution

  □ Our reporter Xu Wei

  □ The reporter's trainee reporter Liu Xin

  In recent years, the domestic express delivery industry has developed rapidly, and the total volume of business has increased significantly. During the "13th Five-Year Plan" period, the scale of my country's parcel express market has been ranked first in the world for many consecutive years.

According to data released by the State Post Bureau, in 2020, the total business volume of express service companies across the country will complete 83.36 billion pieces, an increase of 31.2% year-on-year; in addition, the State Post Bureau expects to complete 95.5 billion pieces of express delivery business in 2021.

  Behind the ever-increasing volume of express delivery business is the increasingly fierce competition in the express delivery market.

In order to compete for market share, many express companies have joined the price war, falling into a vicious circle.

  Recently, the 70th Executive Meeting of Zhejiang Provincial Government reviewed and approved the "Zhejiang Express Industry Promotion Regulations (Draft)" (hereinafter referred to as the "Draft"), which stipulates that express operators shall not provide express services at a price lower than the cost. It is submitted to the Standing Committee of the Provincial People's Congress for deliberation.

This legislative move has aroused strong attention from the society.

  In an interview with a reporter from the Rule of Law Daily, many experts said that long-term low-price competition is not a good thing, and what ultimately hurts consumer rights.

They suggested that the use of legal means to regulate express delivery operators and e-commerce platforms and platform-based express delivery operators, to a certain extent, play a role in deterring the price war in the express delivery industry.

  E-commerce masters pricing power

  Courier companies fight price wars

  In March of this year, the price war of Zhejiang Yiwu Express started again.

It is reported that the price of Extreme Rabbit Express is less than 1 yuan.

On April 9, Yiwu Post Management Bureau confirmed that Best Express and Gitu Express were rectified due to "low-price dumping" and the rectification did not meet the requirements. The main measure was to stop some distribution centers, which had been implemented on the same day.

  Yiwu has a huge express business volume and is known as the vane of the express delivery industry. It has always been a battleground for many express companies.

It is reported that the express price war has been around for a long time, and a "storm" will be set off in the express market every once in a while. This is the first time that some transshipment centers have been suspended.

  The "Price Law of the People's Republic of China" stipulates that prices should be set in accordance with the law of value. The prices of most goods and services are subject to market-adjusted prices, and the prices of very few goods and services are subject to government-guided or government-set prices.

  According to Zhao Guojun, director of the Post Development Research Center of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, the express prices we see now are basically market-adjusted prices, not government-guided prices. The formation of such prices must follow market competition and be determined by operators. At the same time, we must follow the principles of fairness, legality, and integrity. The most important thing is to consider the cost of production and operation and the relationship between supply and demand in the market.

  Ren Chao, a professor and doctoral supervisor at East China University of Political Science and Law, said that at present, the country has no clear regulations on postage or express delivery fees. The express prices seen by consumers are determined by each local franchise network based on market conditions.

Taking Beijing as an example, Article 3 of the "Beijing Express Industry Price Behavior Rules" stipulates that the price of the express industry shall be subject to market-adjusted prices, which are independently set by operating companies based on operating costs and market supply and demand, and prices are formed through fair competition in the market.

  Nowadays, the price of express delivery has dropped to the "1 yuan era" under the price war, which has aroused many concerns.

Why are express companies keen to fight price wars, and their efforts are getting bigger and bigger?

  Ren Chao told reporters that in the domestic express delivery industry, in addition to SF Express and taking the more obvious path of differentiation, in the franchise express delivery camp, the service level, price system, and operating efficiency of each enterprise are further homogenized. In a highly saturated, competitively differentiated express delivery market, price has become the most obvious core element of consumer perception.

Especially in a city like Yiwu, which is dominated by small commodity trade, the overall customer unit price remains at a relatively low level. For merchants, they will be more sensitive to prices in the face of a huge volume of express orders.

  Zhao Guojun reminded that the price of the so-called express delivery price war is not the price for terminal consumption, but the price between the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain.

From the upstream and downstream of the current industrial chain, there are many things that are not straightened out. For example, because of the large amount of express delivery, the upstream e-commerce has an absolute right to speak to the express delivery company, and it is difficult for the express delivery company to have the initiative in bargaining.

  There is serious homogeneity competition in the express delivery industry, and many of them are mainly e-commerce parts.

In Zhao Guojun's view, when express delivery companies are in a weak position, they can only use the short-term seemingly most effective price war to grab market share.

  "However, as far as the current situation is concerned, the price of the entire express delivery industry is not controlled by the express delivery industry. It is more that e-commerce uses its own resource advantages to lower the express delivery industry prices and have the pricing power." Ren Chao said.

  In addition, the express price war is a long-term continuous state, and now the price war is intensifying, and there are factors of capital disrupting the situation.

Zhao Guojun believes that after capital joins, companies with capital backing can grab market share first by burning money.

  For this kind of price war, express companies are a little helpless, "If you don't cut prices, you will die, and you will die soon." The express industry has fallen into a vicious circle of low price competition.

  Service levels are greatly reduced

  Consumer rights will be damaged

  After the release of the "Draft", some netizens wondered why "low prices" should also be managed, and how can companies lose money to do business?

In fact, otherwise, the company may really lose money temporarily.

The negative impact brought about by this cannot be ignored.

  From a definition point of view, low-price dumping refers to operators selling goods at prices below cost for the purpose of squeezing out competitors.

The Anti-Unfair Competition Law of the People's Republic of China, the Price Law of the People's Republic of China, and the Provisions on Deterring Low-Price Dumping Practices all have relevant prohibitive provisions on low-priced dumped goods.

  Ren Chao said that low-price dumping violates the principles of enterprise survival and the law of value. It often triggers vicious competition events such as price wars and the closure of small and medium-sized enterprises in market competition, and may even cause the entire industry to shrink.

  Data shows that from 2018 to the present, a total of 12 express delivery companies have been in a dilemma.

Not long ago, the news of “delivery fee of only 40 cents express delivery outlets closed” hit hot searches. The person in charge of a courier outlet said that in February this year, the original delivery fee of 60 cents was lowered by 2 cents again, and he was helpless. Choose to close the outlets.

In addition, the person in charge of express delivery outlets said that at present, it can only be maintained by borrowing usury.

  The price war of express delivery has intensified, the delivery fee has been drastically reduced, and the income of couriers has also been affected.

Many couriers complain about it. Nowadays, more and more couriers are being delivered, but their income is getting less and less.

  Excessive delivery volume makes the service quality unable to keep up. Many recipients find that their express delivery is often delivered to the express cabinet or collection point without permission; some recipients find that the goods they buy online are shipped I couldn't receive the courier later, and after asking the seller, I found that the courier outlet was stopped and no one sent the package.

  "In the express industry, price wars will inevitably bring about fluctuations in express outlets, and fluctuations in outlets mean that the end of express delivery is unstable. Express companies that are forced to participate in price wars, if they do not have strong capital strength, in order to maintain normal market operations, Only the end delivery fee can be reduced. The direct impact is the decline in the income of the couriers, which indirectly leads to the decline in service quality and ultimately the loss of users." Ren Chao said.

  Zhao Guojun said that at present, some express delivery outlets have closed down, couriers run off the way and a large number of flows, and express delivery delays, loss, damage, and irregular delivery have occurred from time to time.

If the entire industry is accustomed to low prices, it will lead to a reduction in the service level of the entire industry, and ultimately harm the rights and interests of consumers.

  Constant price cuts will cause a systemic crisis in outlets, and companies' debt and cash flow will face severe challenges.

In Ren Chao’s view, long-term low-price competition is not a good thing. The cost of this loss will eventually be passed on to consumers. Although consumers may now take advantage, in the long run, companies will eventually adopt other means. Reclaim profits.

  Zhao Guojun believes that excessively low prices have led to vicious competition among enterprises, unable to function well, and there is no way to expand reproduction.

Some companies will be eliminated, but this is not simply the survival of the fittest. If this form of elimination is allowed, it may eventually lead to the collapse of the entire industry ecosystem.

  "Nowadays, express delivery outlets are closed and couriers are running away. We still have ways to deal with it. If this situation spreads, the entire express delivery industry ecosystem may collapse." Zhao Guojun was worried. Say.

  Straighten out the business collaboration chain

  Establish a cost measurement system

  "There are difficulties in penalizing low-price dumping in the express delivery price war." Zhao Guojun said that express delivery has broken through geographical restrictions and the whole network joint operation involves all links of collection, processing, transportation, and delivery. Each company calculates and allocates costs. Reflecting the differences, the government does not have a very clear grasp of the cost and price of express delivery. The current determination of whether there is low-price dumping is based on the price established in the market as a reference, and the regulatory basis is actually insufficient.

  Regarding how to curb the price war for express delivery, Guojun Zhao believes that the solution is to amend relevant laws and regulations to straighten out the relationship between the upstream and downstream of the industry chain and make e-commerce platforms, express companies and recipients equal partners for cooperation. .

  Zhao Guojun suggested that the choice of e-commerce companies to choose courier companies can be given to users, and users can choose which courier company to use. Users are not only price sensitive, but also very concerned about services, which can urge courier companies to truly provide excellent services and promote express delivery. From the perspective of price cost, enterprise production development, and better ecosystem, enterprises consciously regulate prices and franchise systems.

  Ren Chao suggested that through multi-departmental cooperation, the situation of e-commerce controlling express delivery prices should be changed, and the concept that price wars are not as good as service wars should be established to ensure that the express delivery industry will work harder to improve service quality, continuously improve user service perception, and establish a good reputation. Business reputation.

  "At the same time, we must also urge express delivery companies to conduct cost calculations." In Zhao Guojun's view, a cost calculation system can be formed for the reference of the regulatory authorities as a regulatory basis.

  Ren Chao believes that through the adoption and formal promulgation of the "Draft", pilot projects can be started in Zhejiang and then spread across the country to regulate express delivery operators, e-commerce platforms and platform-based express delivery operators, and to a certain extent. The price war in the express delivery industry played a deterrent effect.

  It should be noted that, in the context of the continuous growth of express delivery volume and the repeated reduction of end delivery fees, it is difficult for couriers to deliver every order to their door, but if they do not deliver it to the door, they are worried about being complained by the recipient.

  In this regard, Zhao Guojun believes that the current low-cost express delivery is essentially a further squeeze of the couriers. Many couriers' actual labor and income are not proportional. This is not a normal situation in itself and will lead to the loss of a large number of couriers.

  Zhao Guojun suggested that postal companies and courier companies should cooperate and take advantage of the postal network resources, capital resources, and terminal resources to create a new model of terminal express delivery.

  Cartography/Li Xiaojun