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January 6, 2011

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Warning for delivery staff playing rough

COURIER companies have been warned about the rough handling of customers' parcels after a video of delivery staff throwing or kicking packages around gained wide notoriety on the Internet.

On its website, the State Post Bureau said that if the country's delivery companies didn't eliminate "violent sorting and delivering" they could face severe punishment for violating customers' rights.

The announcement was sparked by the video which showed young staff at an unknown express company throwing packages high in the air or kicking them across the floor. They laughed out loud as they did so.

The 80-second video first appeared on, showing more than 50 delivery men in a large workshop where goods for express delivery were piled in front of them.

The goods were soon flying through the air as workers tossed them to their colleagues instead of "handling with caution" as notices on some of the boxes urged.

One online comment said the video might have been recorded at a branch of ShenTong Express Co with the poster saying he spotted what he recognized as a company sign on some of the packages.

The Shanghai-based company, one of the country's leading courier companies, immediately launched an investigation. An official surnamed Zhang said yesterday that the video had no connection with the company but he did admit that cases of inappropriate handling of customers' goods had been uncovered.

As a result of its investigation, two of its branches had been fined for breaking company rules regarding the handling of goods.

Zhang said individual staff or branches which broke company rules, for example by damaging goods during sorting or delivery, would be fired or face having their licenses revoked.

"It's possible that some migrant workers hired by courier companies might deal with goods roughly, and that's why we are now hiring some college students with a better educational background to do the job," said Zhang.

But he doubted whether the online video had been recorded recently.

"The sorting methods in the video were in evidence long ago when the country's express service had just started and used poor technology and unskilled workers," Zhang said.

But he added: "We haven't yet ruled out the possibility that some other rival courier companies are using the video to attack us."

The company reported the video to its supervisor, the State Post Bureau, for further investigation.

An online glass products seller surnamed Wang told Shanghai Daily he had to pack his goods with more than five layers of plastic foam before he took them to courier companies for delivery.

"It has been a universal truth that delivery men would not deal with the goods with caution," Wang said.


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