Securities Times reporter Zhuo Yong Song Tenghu
Express logistics is out of service, unable to deliver goods, e-commerce sales have plummeted, business is bleak, truck drivers have been blocked on the road and their capacity has been reduced... Under the counterattack of the epidemic, the national logistics express transportation industry has ushered in a "cold spring".
As of 16:00 on April 5, there were 46 high-risk areas and 348 medium-risk areas across the country.
For the circulation of goods in many parts of the country, this means that each car of goods needs to go through a "long" journey.
"Now drivers can't get in or out. In the past three days, there are two inspections, but now one inspection a day. The epidemic prevention policies of each place are different, and the logistics time and cost have greatly increased." The relevant person in charge of a large logistics enterprise in South China explained the current logistics and transportation. The "pain point" of the industry.
The reporter learned from an interview that the logistics and transportation are trapped, and the connected enterprises and clients are greatly affected.
Merchants have seen a significant drop in orders due to "difficulty in purchasing goods and slow delivery", consumers have frequently complained due to delayed delivery of goods, and logistics companies face the risk of being punished for breach of contract due to failure to deliver goods on time.
Logistics companies: Fleet entry and exit blocked
Fear of risk of default in delivery of goods
After being blocked at the highway intersection for two days, the truck driver Zhang Hua (pseudonym) was quarantined in Suzhou Wangting Logistics Park for nearly 4 days.
On the morning of April 2, Zhang Hua finally lifted the blockade and re-grips the steering wheel on the road.
"This experience will never be forgotten for a lifetime. It feels like it's going to be 'crazy' when it is sealed in the car every day. I hope everyone can unblock it as soon as possible and resume normal transportation." Zhang Hua said with emotion, During the period of being closed, the door of the truck was stuck with a seal, and the driver's range of activities was mainly in the small space inside the compartment. The daily meals were also arranged by the company to be delivered.
This is a true portrayal of the truck drivers who traveled south and north under the current domestic epidemic situation.
In addition to the risk of being blocked at any time, truck drivers have to worry about nucleic acid testing every day.
"Now I think about doing nucleic acid testing every day, and do it wherever I go. I do it once when I have time, even if the interval is very short. If I just do nucleic acid testing at a point, it will be very troublesome if I can't get to the front." Container truck The driver Mr. Liu said.
The current living conditions of front-line truck drivers are a microcosm of the domestic logistics industry. Since the beginning of this year, the epidemic has repeated in many parts of the country, and the national logistics industry has been brought to a certain degree of shutdown.
"Several of our bases in East China have been greatly affected by the epidemic in Shanghai." Baofor Logistics is an early group of enterprises in the logistics industry. It has been developing for more than 20 years and has experienced a normal economic cycle. of the market.
Zhao Yaohua, director of operations management of Bao Supply Logistics Enterprise Group Co., Ltd., said in an interview with reporters that the fluctuating epidemic situation in the past two years has brought unprecedented challenges to the company and the entire industry.
Especially in this wave of Shanghai epidemic, the business of Baosu Logistics Group has been greatly affected.
Zhao Yaohua told reporters that the company has many Fortune 500 international customers in Shanghai, and the customer's goods are all in the warehouse in Shanghai. At present, it is difficult for drivers to get in and out, which greatly reduces the efficiency of logistics. "Before, drivers were checked twice every three days. Now it is a one-day inspection, customer orders are waiting for no one, we also have a contract, and we have to bear the risk of breach of contract if we cannot deliver it on time." Zhao Yaohua said that it is not only the warehouses in Shanghai that are affected, but many of them around Shanghai. Warehouses built in the region are affected to varying degrees.
In order to cope with different epidemic prevention policies in different places, Zhao Yaohua said that at present, the fleet can only be transported in the form of "relay baton", that is, when the driver goes to another place, he will replace the local driver to continue the relay, but this method not only doubles the cost , but also difficult to find local vehicles and drivers.
For some areas affected by the epidemic, Zhao Yaohua told reporters that although the goods can be delivered and arrived normally, the relevant personnel of the company cannot go out to count the goods, load and unload the goods, which also has a certain impact on the delivery of the goods.
In some places, the epidemic prevention policy changes frequently, and companies are even more unable to cope with it.
"At present, the fleet is very limited. Our main business is in Jiangsu and Zhejiang areas. Now many vehicles are stranded there." The person in charge of a logistics company in Fujian said that in order to provide drivers with a basic guarantee, every vehicle has a The minimum salary is guaranteed, no matter whether you run or not, and how much you run, the cost will remain the same.
Now because of the stranded vehicles, it brings huge cost pressure to the company.
"We keep these cars, and the cost keeps rising, and we can only consume limited profits." The person in charge said.
Merchants "difficult to purchase goods and slow delivery"
Significant drop in orders
Logistics-connected shippers are also in trouble.
"I feel that most of China can't send express delivery. Either the office and logistics warehouses are in the epidemic area, or the consumers are in the epidemic area." Some merchants expressed such emotion on social platforms.
"We are now in the epidemic area, and the goods can't be delivered, so we have to communicate with customers and ask them to apply for return and refund." Ms. Liu, the owner of a flower shop on Taobao in Jiangsu, told reporters that in the past half a month All incoming orders can only be returned, and store operations are almost at a standstill.
And Mr. Wang, who has been in the clothing e-commerce business recently, is also very anxious. Right now, it should be the time for spring clothing to go on sale, but due to the epidemic, it is difficult for him to transfer new products from other places to sell.
"Not only is it difficult to purchase goods, but it is also difficult to deliver goods." Mr. Wang said that because the logistics time was too long, some consumers gave up buying, and some even returned orders halfway because of the long waiting time.
It is understood that, according to the regulations of the e-commerce platform, if consumers return goods in the middle, the express fee needs to be borne by the operators themselves.
"Affected by the epidemic, the number of our orders was cut in half, and business was too difficult to do," said Mr. Wang.
The reporter learned from the express delivery industry that many express delivery companies are currently out of service in as many as a dozen areas across the country, and they are updated every day.
As of March 28, more than 2,000 outlets have been suspended in various places.
"We are all working hard to apply for a pass, otherwise we will not be able to leave." A business person in the Shanghai area of a courier company told reporters that being able to apply for a pass is the biggest benefit for the industry at present.
"Some of the goods for transportation and distribution are semi-finished products or finished products that need to be used in the construction of the project. If they cannot be delivered in time, it will affect the construction progress of the construction party." Zhao Yaohua told reporters that for fast-moving consumer products, merchants have A clear procurement or supply plan, and the logistics are not timely, will bring great losses to the sales side.
"In the past two years, the brands and manufacturers we serve have been very sad. The products that were finally produced have problems with the distribution side. Some products cannot be shipped, which will cause inventory."
Since March, in order to ensure the effective operation of the express network, many logistics express companies such as Zhongtong, Yuantong, and China Post have launched different assistance measures to ease the pressure on outlets, ensure smooth postal routes, and help solve merchants’ delivery problems.
ZTO said that ZTO Finance added an additional 500 million yuan special loan for the subsidized epidemic situation to help ease the financial pressure of the outlets, and the provinces and regions will make overall arrangements to support and provide epidemic prevention materials for the outlets affected by the epidemic.
YTO headquarters has set up an anti-epidemic fund with a total amount of 300 million yuan. For the branches affected by the epidemic, it will provide 3-month interest-free loan support of 100,000 to 300,000 yuan according to the actual situation; for the whole network affected by the epidemic For branch offices, the service quality assessment will be actively reduced or exempted; the corresponding business volume assessment will be adjusted and relaxed, etc.
China Post also stated that 56 inter-provincial lines have been added to the entire network, and 168 inter-provincial lines have been dynamically adjusted to avoid the impact of the epidemic on postal routes by bypassing and directing.
E-commerce platforms have been bailed out
Logistics industry calls for supportive policies
In response to various uncertainties in the current situation, companies have no choice but to survive regardless of the cost.
"We are now dealing with various problems regardless of the cost. For example, in the past, there was a warehouse in Shenzhen, and the goods were sent directly to Shenzhen to complete the last mile of delivery. But like a while ago, the Shenzhen warehouse could not be used, and we had to go from other places for a long line. When the goods are transferred, such as the Guangzhou warehouse, the staffing configuration and information system investment in the Guangzhou warehouse will be doubled." Zhao Yaohua said that in response to the uncertainty brought about by the epidemic, companies are often in a "guerrilla war" status.
In response to the situation that the logistics obstruction has caused losses to the merchants on the e-commerce platform, various platforms have also issued announcements to help the merchants tide over the difficulties.
Pinduoduo previously announced that from March 14, the policy of "delayed shipments will not be paid for now" will be implemented for some orders with delivery addresses in areas affected by the epidemic; on March 13, the Douyin platform also issued "During the epidemic Merchant Exemption and Response Plan", on March 17th, Douyin officially held a live training course to describe how merchants should report during the epidemic; on March 15th, the Tmall platform issued an announcement, considering the impact of the epidemic on merchants' store operations , the impact of logistics delivery, the automatic compensation for delayed delivery will be suspended nationwide.
Regarding the large-scale obstruction of national logistics affected by the epidemic, Zhao Yaohua called on the government to issue relevant operating guidelines and assistance policies to bail out the affected express logistics companies.
"For example, the government can issue some guidance on logistics and circulation under the epidemic, instead of just issuing a notice that it has been shut down; at the level of logistics operations, can the government consider giving enterprises some guarantees and support in terms of taxation and emergency funds." Zhao Yaohua Say.
In response to the restrictions on logistics and transportation caused by the epidemic, Liaoning Province recently issued the "Notice on Guaranteeing the Transportation of Key Materials", requiring "for freight vehicles transporting key materials, the principle of 'non-essential and non-blocking' should be followed to ensure fast and convenient transportation. In addition, for key material freight vehicles from cities where medium and high-risk areas are located, the "Notice" requires that the nucleic acid test report, health code and itinerary code must be green codes, and not allowed. Restrict passage at will; for key material freight vehicles that are confirmed to be from non-medium-high-risk areas through inspection of the itinerary code, smooth passage must be guaranteed when the temperature of the drivers and passengers is normal, and the health code and itinerary code are green codes.
Test logistics industry operation ability
The industry may accelerate the reshuffle
In addition to causing a lot of trouble to truck drivers, blocking logistics and transportation in some domestic cities in a short period of time, and partial supply chain disruptions, the epidemic has also intensified the differentiation of the already highly competitive logistics industry.
Feng Luo, operation director of Wanlian Yitong Company, said in an interview with reporters that compared with before the epidemic, the scale of my country's logistics demand still maintains a steady growth trend, but the development of the logistics industry shows a serious differentiation trend. The strong are stronger and the weak are weaker. The situation has not changed. It can be said that "droughts die from droughts, and floods die from floods."
In addition, logistics price wars are still frequently staged, and the living environment of truck drivers is squeezed.
In terms of toll fees, the new policy of "charging according to the number of axles of trucks", which has been implemented since January 1, 2020, has led to an increase in the cost of returning empty trucks.
Zhao Yaohua also told reporters that many customers in the logistics industry, including major foreign brands, have established factories in China and have a complete production supply chain. They will outsource some non-core links, and then they can choose any one. Logistics contractors; in addition, the logistics contracts signed in the past were priced once a year, but now the contract period is getting shorter and shorter, and the chain of service functions is getting more and more detailed, for example, several logistics companies will be signed in transportation, one company Responsible for a certain distance, which also means that they can choose to cooperate with other companies, not necessarily tied to one company.
"Now we want to make money, we can only fight for the underlying operational capabilities, that is, the three offline physical outlets, the transportation network and the service network, and the information system capabilities. Without these accumulation and precipitation, it will be difficult to resist. Risk capability." Zhao Yaohua believes that the impact of the epidemic can largely reflect a company's underlying operational capabilities, and it will also accelerate the reshuffle of the industry.
Feng Luo believes that judging from the current situation, the spread of the epidemic will continue for some time.
Enterprises in the logistics industry should be well prepared for long-term epidemic prevention and control.
He suggested that relevant government departments introduce targeted assistance measures to open up the capillaries of urban logistics.
It is recommended that financial institutions in various regions increase financing for logistics enterprises, increase the scale of inclusive finance for truck drivers, and provide preferential credit services for truck drivers.
At the same time, logistics companies and truck drivers should also realize that they need to put life safety and epidemic prevention and control first, fully understand the epidemic prevention policies of the places they pass by, closely cooperate with local relevant departments for inspections, and make emergency plans to deal with emergencies. Emergencies such as logistics blockages and quarantine prevention and control that may come.Keywords: