Royal Mail signs partner deal in China

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Royal Mail’s European parcels business, GLS, has agreed a partnership deal with Chinese express company ZJS Express.

ZJS will become a GLS global partner, bringing China-wide coverage. The association will trade in China as Euro Business Parcel, a GLS established service brand. Parcelforce Worldwide will act as its UK delivery arm.

The partnership will offer Chinese businesses a fully-tracked, business-to-business delivery proposition for the 3-5 working day parcels delivery market segment. The existing China to rest-of-the-world delivery market is largely made up of providers offering delivery within two to three days.

The alliance is part of Royal Mail’s overall parcel strategy of growth as letter volumes decline. In the last financial year, the various Royal Mail parcels networks in the UK and overseas, generated £4.2 billion of revenues or 48 per cent of total Group revenues.

Mark Thomson, managing director International at Royal Mail Group said: “China is a key trading partner for Europe. The China-to-Europe parcels market is growing rapidly. Last year, China was the biggest exporter of goods to the EU. This presents us with a great opportunity to link our European operations with ZJS Express’ network for the benefit of Chinese businesses exporting to Europe.”

China accounted for 17.3 per cent of the total EU imports market. Chinese exports to the EU have grown almost 50 per cent in the past five years, according to European Commission Trade Data 2011.

In Europe, GLS (General Logistics Systems) handles 360 million parcels a year through a network of 660 depots covering 42 countries. Operating profit in 2010-11 was £18m on sales of £1.48bn.

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