Suspicious parcels under fresh scanner

Once suspicious objects are spotted in a parcel, all the related information to the parcel will be passed over to the police in no time, police said.

COURIER firms will now relay suspicious parcels to the police in real time.

In a trial run of the new smart X-ray machines at four delivery companies, 3,974 parcels were singled out from the 834,000 parcels, Shanghai police said yesterday.

Deppon Logistics, SF, STO and Fast Expresses tested the machines at one of their parcel sorting centers.

In China, courier firms are required to ensure that every parcel is checked before being delivered, but the implementation of the rule is difficult, police said after a recent inspection of local courier businesses.

“Their competency in discovering and reporting irregularities differs from one another, and as a result, some suspicious parcels get through,” said an official from the General Squad for Public Order of Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

In the latest experiment, all scanning machines at the sorting centers will be remotely connected to a parcel content identification center in the Pudong New Area, where trained staff will watch over the returned pictures, police said.

Once a suspicious parcel is spotted, the delivery information such as the address and name are scanned. The information is then passed on to the police and the delivery of the parcel blocked.

Police said they will also train parcel security staff at courier firms.

It is estimated that about 10 million parcels are delivered to and from Shanghai every day.