China’s bargain shopping sites push to build own shipping networks

China’s bargain shopping sites push to build own shipping networks

Ecommerce sites forced to rethink logistics after US struck deal for higher international postage fees

Shopping sites delivering from China are rushing to build their own global freight networks, as the coronavirus pandemic and new US shipping rules threaten the supply of packages to the west in the run-up to Christmas.

Stung by rising costs after a new postage deal was struck last year between the US and the United Nations’ postal body, bargain sites such as Wish and AliExpress have invested heavily to handle their own flow of goods.

“Logistics has become paramount,” said San Francisco-based Wish, which has merchants based in China, and this month raised $1.1bn in its initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange.

Until July, a UN international postal agreement required China to be treated as a developing nation and afforded lower global shipping fees that were effectively subsidised by western countries including the US.