Express delivery competition heats up in HK

Hong Kong residents are rushing to shop at Shenzhen’s Sam’s Club, prompting SF Express to introduce half-day deliveries.

Photo by Fan Jianlei

Photo by Fan Jianlei

By BAI Fan


Hong Kong citizens love to shop on the mainland, but customs clearance, long distances and heavy goods are a headache.

Sensing an opportunity, SF Express has begun half-day deliveries from Sam’s Club in Shenzhen to most parts of the Special Administrative Region. Customers can either send their purchases home after shopping in Shenzhen or place orders online for doorstep delivery.

Driven by lower prices and favorable exchange rates, shopping across the border has never been more popular in Hong Kong. There will be at least 9 million border crossings during the Christmas and New Year period.

E-commerce in Hong Kong grew by a fifth this year and more than half of residents buy something online every week.

Growth of local delivery services has been slow and mainland powerhouses see great potential there. SF Express, Alibaba's Cainiao and others are already at loggerheads with the local logistics interests.

In October, SF Express unveiled a bulk cargo transit platform that enables pick-up throughout Hong Kong on the same day. In H1, Cainiao saw bulk transit volume increase by 20 percent.

SF Express has a special peach delivery service and now looks after luggage check-ins and deliveries for Hong Kong International Airport. Cainiao offers next-day delivery from most of the Chinese mainland and has lowered prices.