The Chunghwa Post yesterday launched a new cross-strait parcel delivery and express mail services, offering fast postal service to the southeast coast of China at cheaper rates.
Teng Tien-lai (鄧添來), director of the Ministry of Transportation and Communication’s post and telecommunications department, said the service was launched following the second cross-strait talks in 2010, in which Taiwan and China reached agreements on air transportation, sea transportation and postal services, as well as on food safety issues.
“The area west of the Taiwan Strait is geographically closer to us, which leaves room for lower service rates,” Teng said. “Provinces such Xinjiang and Tibet are far away from us and the service rates to these areas remain unchanged.”
Prior to the launch of the new service, Taiwanese need to use the international express mail service (EMS) if they want to quickly send their parcels to family members in China. Consumers will be charged identical postal service rates for sending mail or packages to China, whether they are delivered to the western or eastern part of the country.
Cross-strait mail or packages delivered through EMS have averaged about 20,000 a month. Lee Kan-hsiang (李甘祥), director of Chunghwa Post’s department of mail business and operations, said the postage of the newly launched cross-strait postal service was calculated based on delivery costs to different regions in China, which is different from EMS.
Lee said both Taiwan and China agreed to divide China into six postal service regions.
The first service region includes Fujian and Jiangxi provinces.
The majority of Taiwanese businesspeople in China live within the second service region, including Shanghai, as well as Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Anhui provinces. The remaining provinces are in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth regions respectively.
The service currently only delivers air mail or packages.
Sea mail services are to be available once all the preparatory work has been completed, Lee said.
Lee added that the new service’s delivery time is comparable to that of EMS, which varies between three and 10 days depending on the service regions. However, the postage costs less than EMS by between NT$92 and NT$390 per mail item or package on average.
Previously, the postage for a 3kg package anywhere in China was NT$840. Under the new service rates, the postage for the package of the same weight would cost only NT$560 if it were delivered to Fujian and NT$623 if it were sent to Shanghai.
Unlike EMS, the new service allows customers to send prescription drugs to their family members in China, provided they include prescriptions from doctors in the packages as well.
The new service will not deliver frozen or other degradable food, Lee added.
Chunghwa Post vice president Chen Tzu-de (陳賜得) said the packages sent through the new service would all be subject to inspection at customs.