Parcel volume rises 21 pct in 2020 amid pandemic

SEOUL– The parcel volume in South Korea rose 21 percent last year from a year earlier as more people shifted to online shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic, government data showed Saturday.

A total of 3.37 billion parcels were delivered in the nation by 18 logistics companies in 2020, surpassing 3 billion for the first time, according to the data by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The parcel volume exceeded 2 billion in 2016 and had posted around 10 percent growth in the following three years, the ministry said.

The number of parcels sharply rose last year as more consumers preferred digital channels over offline shops in the wake of the pandemic.

The transactions of online shopping jumped 19.1 percent on-year to 161.1 trillion won (US$144.4 billion) in 2020, marking a record high since the data started being compiled by Statistics Korea in 2001.

The soaring demand for parcel deliveries often pushed couriers to work long hours during peak seasons and a series of deaths of workers apparently from overwork shed light on their poor labor conditions.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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