Using express delivery services in China

If you work in China, you’ll hear the word “kuaidi” on a daily basis, referring to express delivery services used to speed goods and documents from one place to another.


Choosing a company

China’s biggest express delivery service is the state-run EMS, which has offices all over China. EMS has the largest network, and is the one to use if your package’s destination is a small town or rural area.

However, if you’re sending to a major city, or within the same city you’re based in, you’ll have a range of options to choose from, many of them being cheaper and often faster than EMS. Some of the biggest include Shun Feng (aka SF Express), Shentong (aka STO Express) and Yuan Tong (aka YT Express). 


Giving over the parcel

Using a kuaidi service is basically the same as using China Post, with one difference – kuaidi companies will often come to your apartment or office to collect your package. Typically, they can do this within one hour of you calling. You’ll have to complete a dispatch note with the recipient’s name, address (in Chinese, though the deliveryman will be able to help you write it if you can show him or her the characters) and mobile number, as well as your own details. After that, it’s a case of simply paying the courier and then your package will be whisked away for delivery.

Remember that the deliveryman may need to look inside your parcel to confirm that the contents are acceptable for transportation before he or she takes it for you.


Same-day delivery

Same-day delivery within the same city can be possible, though you need to get your order dispatched early in the day if you want to stand a chance of this. For delivery to another major city, you’re looking at a minimum of at least one working day for delivery. 


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