Lawmakers urge stricter management for deliveries

Enhanced management of the city's express and food delivery industries is needed, along with related regulations, Shanghai People's Congress hears.

Local lawmakers are urging stricter management of the city's express and food delivery services to ensure public security as well as deliverymen's safety and rights, according to a proposal submitted to the annual session of the Shanghai People's Congress.

They also propose setting up and improving related regulations.

In the first half of last year, there were 76 serious traffic accidents related to food delivery in which deliverymen were either injured or died, according to the proposal.

Its initiator, Bai Wanqing, a community mediator in Jing'an District and deputy to the SPC, said the booming food delivery market made companies too profit-oriented and put pressure on their deliverymen. Sometimes customers' lack of understanding made this worse — if they complained about late delivery and return the food, the deliveryman may earn nothing and could also be fined by his company. 

"The express services are under the management of local post authorities. But for food delivery, so far there are no related regulations," Bai told Shanghai Daily. She also said some deliverymen even refitted their motorcycles to take heavier loads and go faster, possibly putting themselves and other road users in danger.

"When there's a road accident and someone is injured, deliverymen who bear major responsibility, usually cannot afford compensation," Bai said.

In the proposal she cited two cases. One was a migrant worker in Changning District, surnamed Wen, whose father was seriously injured by a deliveryman. That cost him medical bills of 180,000 yuan (US$28,500), while the deliveryman was only able to pay him 7,000 yuan.

In another case, last year Huaiju Opera artist Liang Weiping suffered a broken leg and massive hemorrhaging after he was hit by a deliveryman. He had to cancel a nine-performance tour of six provinces and cities, sustaining huge losses. 

To prevent this kind of thing happening, the legislators said food delivery companies should  take responsibility for accidents caused by their deliverymen and be subject to punishments that could include being put on a blacklist, detention or even criminal charges.

There should also be regulations to force express or food delivery companies to purchase traffic insurance for their deliverymen and labor authorities should enhance their supervision of the two industries, set rules for management, offer vocational training for deliverymen and punish companies who violate the regulations.

Xu Liping, a deputy with the Huangpu District delegation, said the government, companies and public should work together on the management of delivery services.

“It’s a bit challenging for the food companies to manage their large number of deliverymen because of the high employee turnover, but they do make efforts on that,” said Xu, “I think the government and industry associations should co-regulate the food delivery services with the companies’ improvement and the public’s participation in its supervision.”

She hoped the public could be more tolerant of late deliveries with reasonable causes as well as reporting to related authorities when they find a deliveryman violating traffic rules.

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