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New Postal Route Halves Delivery Times From China to Russia

Peter Kovalyov / TASS

The Russian Post has opened a new railroad route to speed up the delivery of goods from China that will accommodate a booming demand for online shopping from Russia.

Online shopping from Chinese retailers, many dominated by companies owned by China’s Alibaba Group e-commerce giant, occupy a near-monopoly in Russian web purchases. Parcels from China account for more than 90 percent of all the packages that arrive in Russia through a growing trillion-ruble ($14.2 billion) online retail market, Russia's Association of Online Vendors (AKIT) estimates.

On Monday, the Russian postal service announced it would add a new, daily railroad route for packages weighing less than 2 kilograms to beef up its existing shipping system from China.

Rather than routing all of its deliveries through a logistics hub in Moscow, packages can now go directly to Russian cities including Vladivostok, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg.

“Up to 40 percent of all AliExpress parcels will be handled along the new route and will cover the entire eastern part of the country,” said Liu Wei, head of AliExpress Russia. “This will primarily affect the speed of delivery and reduce the load on the Russian Post’s distribution centers in Moscow.”

According to the RBC news website, test deliveries along the new route this summer had doubled the speed of delivery and are expected to cut waiting times from 40 to 14 days.

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