Keynote: With its cold chain operation and service system, Shanghai Postal Branch not only knocks open the door to cold chain logistics market, but also enriches the substance of postal delivery services, promotes the innovation of its operation and organization mode, and improves the brand image of postal services. Moreover, it has accumulated valuable marketing and management experience for other postal enterprises in launching cold chain services.
Since the intra-city cold chain delivery service was launched in August 2016, the business volume and income scale of Shanghai Postal Branch have been continuously increasing, with the business income in 2017 exceeding 15 million yuan (about $2.22 million at that time), and in 2018 reaching about 20 million yuan (about $3.02 million at that time). With the efforts of both urban and suburban postal enterprises, cold chain business of Shanghai Postal Branch has achieved leapfrog development in both quantity and quality. In the urban area, the postal enterprises closely follow the market focus and customers’ needs, and carry out new types of cooperation such as warehouse to outlets distribution and instant delivery with some third-party fresh food e-commerce platforms, making a great breakthrough in the development of B2B cold chain. In the suburbs, postal enterprises collaborate with local rural cooperatives and fruit & vegetable merchants, identifying a starting point in the field of farm produce distribution.
In exploring the cold chain delivery services, Shanghai Postal Branch has always adhered to the principles of market orientation, openness and innovation. In terms of cooperation mode innovation, products and services planning, marketing scheme making, target customer acquiring, operation scheme refining and effective organization and supporting approach choosing, Shanghai Postal Branch tries to move closer to the advanced operation modes in the industry, and optimize and integrate the product systems. It has also explored and constructed a highly efficient intra-city cold chain network through information technology, and built a metropolitan service brand with clear product systems, excellent service, efficient network, optimal operation and unified image. Shanghai Postal Branch has thus made a very successful start in launching cold chain delivery services among the postal enterprises nationwide, and accumulated valuable experiences in marketing and management.
First, the substance of postal delivery services is enriched. The intra-city cold chain service of Shanghai Postal Branch is the first try of China Post in cold chain sector. It has knocked open the blue sea market of cold chain logistics and won a foothold in it. Presently, the services include cold chain distribution (B2C), transportation (B2B), warehousing, storage consignment service and value-added services, covering three temperature ranges — freeze space (≤-18℃), chill space (0℃～8℃) and regular temperature. These services can meet the customers’ needs, and provide them with professional and high-quality one-stop cold chain solutions.
Second, the business cooperation mode is innovative. In view of the high investment, heavy assets and high thresholds of the cold chain logistics industry, Shanghai Postal Branch leverages the advantages of China Post as an enterprise directly under the central government and the influence of its century-old postal brand in seeking high quality strategic partners for win-win cooperation and complementarity. With division of labor and collaboration, all partners are clear about their own responsibilities. Shanghai Postal Branch is mainly responsible for the front-end marketing and the back-end distribution of the cold chain services as well as the operation management and control in the whole city after the implementation of the projects. Other partners are responsible for the investment and construction of the logistics parks in the early stage of the project, the procurement of the cold chain equipment, and the production organization and management of the cold chain distribution center after the projects are put into effect. This innovative cooperation mode can effectively push forward the completion and implementation of the intra-city cold chain projects, and reduce their operating costs.
Besides, the innovation of network organization and operation mode is accelerated. In terms of network organization, Shanghai Postal Branch has made use of its mature intra-city business delivery platform, and also tried to meet the needs of the cold chain logistics for quick response, demanding service, professional equipment and facilities, strong service awareness of the delivery teams, with the cold chain network relatively independent from and organically integrated with the intra-city normal temperature network. Independent operation mode is adopted in the process of operation within the cold storage warehouse, transportation and transit, while delivery station warehousing and terminal distribution are added on to the existing intra-city network. This organization mode has both integrated the existing resources, and maximized the operational efficiency. By the end of 2018, more than 600 employees and nearly 50 stations had been involved in the cold chain delivery, the service area covering 5387.67 square kilometers. The professional competence of the postal cold chain services has been improved steadily.
Eventually, the brand image of postal services will be enhanced. While grabbing the cold chain market, expanding the scope of traditional postal services and increasing business profits with cold chain delivery services, Shanghai Postal Branch targets the young consumer group with upgrading consumption patterns, aiming to build a highly efficient, youth-oriented and customer-focused brand new image, and conducive to enhancing young customers’ satisfaction.