Suppliers work hard to satisfy surging demand

Huang Yixuan
Supermarkets and e-commerce platforms in Shanghai are making great efforts to ensure sufficient supplies of food and protective items for residents during the coronavirus outbreak.
Huang Yixuan

Supermarkets and e-commerce platforms in Shanghai are working hard to ensure adequate supplies during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

More residents in the city have chosen to stay at home during the Chinese New Year holiday because of the crisis, leading to a growing demand for medical protective and therapeutic products such as masks, as well as fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and seafood.

Lianhua Supermarket Holdings Co on Wednesday distributed 260 tons of vegetables to Shanghai Century Lianhua, Lianhua Supermarket and Jimaishen stores, five times the usual daily amount and eight times that of the same period last year, according to a staff member.

Shanghai Xuerong Bio-Technology, China’s largest producer of fresh mushrooms, resumed full production on Tuesday.

"Our daily production capacity can reach more than 1,000 tons, including edible mushrooms such as shiitake, pleurotus eryngii and enokitake which are common on people's dining tables," said Chen Xin, an executive with Shanghai Xuerong Bio-Technology.

Liu Min, deputy director of Shanghai Commerce Commission, said trading of vegetables and pork had resumed at wholesale markets, with the volume continuing to increase.

Since January 27, the volume of pork and vegetables at major wholesale markets in the city had increased significantly month on month and compared with the Spring Festival holiday last year.

Online grocery shopping has been increasingly popular during the outbreak.

Supplier Dingdong, for example, has seen a significant increase in online orders for vegetables. Despite many residents leaving Shanghai for home during Spring Festival, the orders had continued to rise.

Lunar New Year's Eve saw a month-on-month surge of over 300 percent in the number of orders on Dingdong and the overall number is expected to top 4 million during the seven-day holiday.

"The surge in demand from citizens has posed some challenges to our supply, especially as most of the food suppliers and logistics halted work during the Spring Festival," said Liang Changlin, the company’s CEO.

"But we are taking advantage of our supply chain, making close communication and coordination with key firms across all categories to bolster sufficient supply and optimize inventory," Liang said.

Dingdong will bring 400 tons of vegetables to the shelves to ensure plentiful supply on Friday, according to the platform. It also pledged to not raise prices for daily food.

Meanwhile, e-commerce platform Yangmatou has cooperated with global buyers to carry out urgent cargo transfers since January 22, constantly looking for supplies including epidemic prevention masks, disinfectant and protective clothing through various channels to meet the growing need.

Cross border e-commerce logistics company xLobo Global Express, Yangmatou's official logistics partner, has provided free international direct delivery services for certain products to ensure the smooth and rapid arrival of medical and protective supplies.

The platform has also opened a special area on its mobile app putting together local protective supplies in Shanghai to make it easier for residents to find and buy relevant products.

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