Singles Day Online Shopping Sales Overload Delivery Services

At a STO Express salesroom in Guangzhou Lizhiwan District, the parcels are stacked like a hill.

From QQ:

Mountains of Parcels at Express Delivery Companies after “Double Eleven” Holiday

November 12, many domestic electrical appliance stores held a 24-hour madness sale on “Double Eleven [Singles Day]” and as a result, express delivery companies too were overloaded. At an STO Express Delivery salesroom in Guangzhou’s Liwan District, the parcels were piled up like a hill, the warehouse unable to accommodate them all. The express delivery company claimed they had already begun deliveries since 4 in the morning, and these parcels alone were what’s still left that hasn’t yet been dispatched.

At a STO Express salesroom in Guangzhou Lizhiwan District, the parcels are stacked like a hill.

According to statistics, during the sales promotion of electrical appliance stores on “Double Eleven”, just Taobao alone set a record 19.1 billion yuan single day sales “miracle”. What more, this figure is more than twice as much as the 7.16 billion yuan in sales achieved by 130 major commercial enterprises in Beijing over 8 days during the “October First [National Day]” Golden Week holiday this year. Because the orders are largely concentrated, they far exceeded the processing abilities of online shops and the delivery capabilities of express delivery companies. For many urgent merchandise, some online shops will need as much as around a month before they can send them out.

A worker is carrying goods into the warehouse for scanning.

November 12, Guangzhou, in the warehouse of an express delivery company, merchandise have already been piled out the door, with workers continuously carrying more goods into the warehouse for scanning.

Workers are sorting out a mountain of parcels.

November 12, At the parcel sorting center of STO Express in Ningxia, workers are sorting a mountain of parcels. November 11 has been jokingly called “Singles Day” by many people, and during this just passed “Double Eleven”, many electrical appliance stores seized this business opportunity to launch an online shopping promotion and discount sales season. After the peak of online shopping, all kinds of goods began being sent out, with express delivery companies also facing a peak period for parcel deliveries. According to a person in charge of a parcel sorting center at an express delivery company in Nanchang, the number of incoming parcels on November 12 reached 50,000 items, 25% higher than normal, predicting that the highest peak in parcel deliveries will be around the 13th.

Workers are handling the parcels.

A worker is handling the parcels.

Workers are handling the parcels.

November 12, at a parcel sorting center in an express delivery company in Nanchang, workers were handling the parcels.

Workers of an express company in Hefei are sorting out the parcels.

November 12, workers of an express delivery company in Hefei were sorting the parcels.

The parcels are stacked like a hill that the warehouse can't even accommodate.

This sort of “holiday sale” is similar to America’s Black Friday, or perhaps Cyber Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

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Comments from QQ:

腾讯深圳市网友 晒肚皮/:Z:

I rather admire Taobao Tmall’s service and its website’s order checking features. During the first minute of Double Eleven, 10 million people rushed into the site simultaneously. An ordinary server would’ve probably shut down immediately. Just look at that Ministry of Railways online ticket booking platform and you’ll see the difference.

[Note: Earlier this year, the Ministry of Railways launched a new online train ticket booking system and website that performed incredibly poorly and was constantly unable to meet demand, despite the astronomical sum of money spent on its development, leading Chinese netizens to once again lament the probability of government malfeasance and corruption].

腾讯成都市网友 金沙:

China Post [China’s government postal service] should deeply examine itself! Why can’t the express delivery business of the postal service with the largest delivery network all over the nation compete with private express companies?

腾讯绵阳市网友 大风歌: (responding to above)

The software the Ministry of Railways invested 100 million yuan into can’t compete with 10% of Taobao.
The countless branches of China Post has can’t compete with private express delivery companies.
From this we can see, that state enterprises are synonymous with inefficiency and waste.

腾讯网友 正在连接….: (responding to 金沙)

Because China Post is a state-owned enterprise, its employees can not work and still get paid.

腾讯网友 餹 餹:

The Ministry of Railways ticket booking website really should learn from Taobao Tmall’s network capacity!!!

腾讯网友 . o等:

The days are getting cold, don’t forget to say a thank you for their hard work to the couriers when you receive your parcels!

腾讯肇庆市网友 一级方程式:

The rent for brick and mortar stores is too high, employee costs are also high, various fees and taxes are also high, so that’s why online shopping in China is developing/growing so fast.

腾讯网友 Menmory:

So this is how my things are piled [handled by express delivery companies]~~~ God! My heart is aching to death.

腾讯厦门市网友 /xinChina超:

Should immediately upgrade the warehouses to level 2!

腾讯网友 清清绿溪水:

We should really congratulate Chinese people on their improved living standards. People are getting more and more fashionable, as well as lazier and lazier…

腾讯常州市网友 寒江:

Businessmen wish every day was a special day. Even Double Eleven has been hyped up [into a day of consumerism].

腾讯网友 明:

The logistics of express delivery companies are directly constricting the speed of growth for online electronics stores.

腾讯网友 Andy:

Didn’t spend a single cent passing by [referring to self not having purchased anything on Double Eleven]~~ I wonder how many parcels will be lost this time.

腾讯新疆网友 腾飞:

The Ministry of Railways and China Post! Do you two bosses feel ashamed? Everyday, the online ticket booking says the system is busy, and [people] can’t book [tickets]. I strongly protest against the Ministry of Railways.

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  • Typical….no respect for people’s property, just throw it off the truck and build a big giant mountain of shit.

    • Kate

      Kind like how those wal mart employees were tossing Ipads around for fun.

      • Yeah …I forgot about that those so I down-voted myself just now. Still..I’m not even talking about this article. I’m already biased against these companies since there’s a delivery company downstairs of our building that looks like that every friggin day, just a big mountain of clusterfuck. If they saw the iPad tossing video they would wonder “what’s the big deal?” There’s a whole fleet of jerks on e-bikes that I have to dodge on the sidewalks almost everytime walk by and been hit twice but not hurt. After the 2nd time I went in and burned on the manager the next time I get hit by one of his drivers I’m gonna take my bat( actually a table leg with a rusty screw sticking out) to the place. I didn’t even bother to tell him my boss owns the whole building. Stay tuned……

        • Brett

          Downvoting oneself means you have enough humility for me to upvote you. +1.

        • Cynic

          i cant stand them either. their outlets are always a mess as you state. i once had to go to a location to pull a parcel early and everyone was stepping over the parcels and throwing them around, it was a complete jungle of shit. the delivery guys are jerk offs as well. knocking loudly at your door and having no patience beyond 5 seconds before they knock again.

          • Here Cynic….a delivery man ( or in this case, the gas meter lady) Little Wolf Rage Comic just for you.

          • Aw shit….it loaded backwards. Ok…you gotta start from the bottom left corner and go to the top right and go backwards(dyslexic-style?)

          • Awwwww man! Now they’re all in wrong order :(
            What a pity since clearly I put alot of work into it.

          • Cynic

            it was in the right order for me but i happened to view it backwards based on your instruction. anyhow. nice piece of sillyness. fuck… time i freaked out on this cop that was at my door cause of the way he was knocking. i was hysterical. after i realized his uniform wasnt fake i was really surprised he didnt at least verbally berate me. he was actually really nice and understanding. just no knocking edicute. guess they dont care about the noise though. they all have those annoying ebike alarms on their doors that blare hi picitched midi songs at ear drum shattering frequencies.

          • haha….that was actually based on a true story. That banging on my door as if it were the police and I was Public Enemy # 1. I tried to ignore it and hoped whoever it was would go away.(It was just like….6 AM and my daughter had already woke me up calling from USA. But it was persistent and getting louder. This went on about 10 minutes. I finally thought “maybe the house in on fire”, so I hung up on my daughter and answered the door and it was just the gas lady to check the meter. I was still half-asleep but she had poked the bear and I unloaded the most profanity-laced string of sentences of all time.That was around Xmas time last year and I never seen her since and my gas has never been turned off, so who knows? Maybe I get free gas for life now just so she never has to see me again. All for a measly 12 kuai.

          • Cynic

            surely you didnt throw her of the balcony then get electrocuted!

    • Kristy

      Have you see how airline employees handle our luggage? I cringe every time.

      • Cynic

        i once saw some super fat disgruntled ugly black kid that looked like he was in desperate need of a belt for his trousers push a cart stacked about 6 feet high with suitcases. he arrived at the belt, which looked to be going in to the floor, and continued to push the suitcases off one by one. i dont know what sickened me more his laziness and pathetic life or the way he was treating the baggage.

  • paneraman

    typical processing in china… throwing the package when it’s done

    • wafflestomp

      Except people buy stuff who aren’t singles. It’s a Chinese version of Black Friday. My fiance bought lots of clothes as they’re all on sale, and by a significant margin. Perhaps you should know what you’re talking about before ranting, moron.

      • fabulous

        Maybe she is just giving you a subtle hint.

      • Rick in China

        What are you talking about, I don’t see him mentioning anything about singles or couples.

        I think he was just looking at the photos and said, WTF, great stacking/organizing job fellas. Which is exactly what I thought. Good to see all those packages which may or may not contain expensive and easily damaged contents tossed into a scattered pile of shit.

  • [email protected]

    And no doubt the bulk of these parcels contained absolutely pointless crap that these Chinese singles will enjoy for a day, then tire of, and finally add to the stockpile of their worthless, childish moronic tat bought with credit, and purchased solely to appease their shallow and materialistic consumerisms and stave off their desperate loneliness. Lastly they will throw it away and it will be scavenged and become some wretchedly poor rural person’s most valued possession for the next 20 years.
    Don’t get me wrong. People do this everywhere, sort of, but the difference is, China has this nifty “singles’ day” which is a neat little consumer holiday crafted for money making purposes, and western countries don’t have that particular one.

    • Kate

      No the usa just has black Friday, in which people are trampled to death……^_^

      • tengu

        And beaten to death…

        • linette lee

          black friday in uSa shoppers are so wild and aggressive, cops use pepper spray to control crowd.

          • linette lee

            Black friday needs to change to black pepper spray friday. It’s too crazy. I will never go shopping on black friday. I will avoid it at all cost. Some of the big department stores like walmart, bestbuy, target get out of control.


          • mr.wiener

            I believe the pepper spray incident was from an over zealous bargain hunter who wanted to get to the head of the que.
            Crazy things sales, you get to see humanity at it’s worst.

    • Matt Smith

      The real tragedy in online shopping (especially for electronics) is the amount of “free” crap that they include in anything they ship to someone. How many usb sd card readers do you need? How many phone charms can a person conceivably use in any meaningful way? I wish they would outlaw all this extra cruft in online shopping, since it probably creates a huge amount of waste that only puts China further from achieving any kind of environmental reformation.

      • Kristy

        What people buy is their business. Can you honestly say that everything you have bought is useful?

        Interestingly if China does outlaw “this extra cruft in online shopping”, people like you will complain about the lack of personal freedom in China.

        • Matt Smith

          Actually, I was referring to all the extra stuff they package with whatever you bought. Have you ever bought a phone from taobao? It’s like they throw every conceivable piece of crap in the package that they can, even if you order the simplest phone.

    • Kristy

      dear genius, check out the origin of Valentine’s Day!

      • [email protected]

        Dear Kristy. Thanks for calling me a genius. :) I’m sure you already know that Chinese have: 1. A “Singles’ Day” and 2. A “Valentine’s Day” and 3. A “Chinese Valentine’s day”. Which is, if my maths is correct: 2 more consumer holidays than the west, but only 1 more if you count Black Friday which Chinese don’t celebrate. Now you may go and check out the origin of sucking it. :)

    • Germandude

      Ok. I don’t know where you are from and honestly don’t care. Your rant here is lacking substance though. The most amusing shopping spree I have ever encountered was on Black friday in San Francisco, where people were lining up in front of stores not knowing what is sold but purchasing because it was cheap. One of my study mates was in line and I asked him what he is buying, he said “I don’t know but it’s cheap”. It turned out that he was in line for purchasing a sofa that was sold with a 50% discount. He bought it using his American Express and was happy to have made a good deal. Unfortunately, he just purchased a couch 3 months before which ended up on a week later.

      Then in the US, you have all these “buy one get one free” offers, coupons in newspapers, special deals like I remember “Buy a coca cola classic can and get a USD 10 discount for a ticket at the Universal Studios Florida” (that was in 1991). In Europe we have a lot of crazy consumption days as well.

      Are we complaining about the Chinese now doing a smart purchase when there is a huge discount now? And if so, do I need to see sense in this rant?

      • maja

        that’s funny, do you remember which year was the san francisco stuff? because I remember reading a dystopian novel where people was doing exactly the same, staying in line to buy discounted goods that nobody knew about, at least on taobao you can choose….

        • Germandude

          Well of course I remember. It was in 2005 during my study abroad semester.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    Damn that is crazyyyyy. A _literal_ small mountain of parcels piled up?! did the delivery people get lazy? (I mean the people who left the parcels there like that, not the people who work there and have to deal with the small pile of packages later)

  • Irvin

    it never cease to amaze me of the stupid festivals conceived by chinese. Double eleven singles day? That’s the most stupid thing to celebrate, it just reminds lonely people that they are lonely, or am I missing something here?

    • linette lee

      ……the stupid festivals conceived by chinese……

      hahahah. lol.That is the most retarded comment. Thanksgiving is a pretty dumb holiday. Who cares about the pilgrims. Why the american celebrate it? I don’t mind. I love any holidays.

      • Kate

        Americans celebrate thanksgiving because it is apart of our history and a significant part of it. Thanksgiving is about family and being together as a family, not pilgrims. It isn’t a dumb holiday, its an important family holiday, one of the few times in a year families get time to spend together. I seriously doubt double eleven singles day is apart of china’s history. If you want to compare an american day to this dumb holiday then compare black Friday to it but not thanksgiving. If you were american you’d understand how important thanksgiving is.

        • Akhemu


        • G$

          @cf27739e313d1b16d749ebdf96ee7d2a:disqus Ooooooh how you just lost a lot of respect and credibility. @disqus_3ntu2nOx6o:disqus double eleven singles day is basically a marketing ploy, amply reinforced by the Chinese ability to say afterwards hey, look! We spent more than Americans do on Black Friday on our made-up holiday. We must be really prosperous now after all, we sure have come a long way. (let’s never mention the fact that we have almost 5x the population of America in the same sentence) It’s all just masturbation. And, a better comparison to double eleven singles day is clearly Valentine’s day as it is not historical, rather it was created as a marketing ploy by big American conglomerates to get people out spending more money in the dead of winter and they probably never would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for women. Black Friday on the other hand is actually important, although most shoppers don’t know so. Black Friday economically speaking is the day where the stores make back all their inevitable losses incurred throughout the year so that they can actually get out of the red. (In a way it could be argued that Valentine’s day is also there to help make up for the losses as well) If a store doesn’t make up for its losses, they may well go out of business, hence the Black in Black Friday. On the other hand, for the average American it represents the chance to get good deals to get a heads up on christmas shopping for the Christmas holiday coming. (I’m purposefully not being PC there, because the majority of the US population is christian) P.S. screw being PC

          • themig

            business is good!! now if we can only do the exact same thing with the sex industry in China

          • G$

            The sex industry in China isn’t out of control already?

          • Kristy

            How do you know that “double eleven singles day is basically a marketing ploy, amply reinforced by the Chinese ability to say afterwards hey, look! We spent more than Americans do on Black Friday on our made-up holiday. We must be really prosperous now after all, we sure have come a long way.” Sources? References? Or just something you made up with your “credibility”?

            How about just a holiday for consumers to get good deals and for merchants to earn more money?

            以小人之心, 度君子之腹

          • Germandude

            There is this thing called the internet. Then you got, and other search engines where you can check a lot of stuff. Since I didn’t know much about the double eleven singles day, I checked and found this:

          • linette lee

            光棍節 singles holiday celebrate on 11/11.

            Which other country celebrate singles day may I ask? Does anyone know?

          • G$

            Indeed, things start out innocent and well-intended…but then large corporations get involved…

          • linette lee

            …………….How about just a holiday for consumers to get good deals and for merchants to earn more money?…………….

            That will be black friday, or president day, or columbus day, or veterans day, or independence day, labor day, or memorial day, or…………..etc… darn…that’s a lot of holidays…lol Wait until they start celebrating hanukkah, that’s big sale everyday. I love holidays. :)

          • G$

            I really wish this had taken even 10 minutes.

            Rife with rhetoric ripe for nationalistic masturbation. And oh how the Chinese netizens oblige. Which reminds me of my former roommates friend bragging to me about the shell that his grandfather purportedly used to shoot down an American plane during the Korean war and of all the planes that he shot down. The Chinese have a bad case of nationalism imo, many don’t even realize how ingrained it is. Try making an innocent observation to a Chines mainlander, in hopes of gaining insight, only to receive the indefatigable comparison to your own country.

            My initial impression which my comment was based upon is derived from news reports and comments made by my room mates who are all masters students from mainland China. If you want something a bit more explicit, go look on through forums, 网易 is a place to start, ^.~ It’s 1:30 in the am, here, and I’m hittin’ the sack darlin’.

          • Shaniqua1990

            wait, so there are holidays that aren’t made up ?

          • G$

            Well trollolololol to you too darlin’

        • linette lee

          Well it was first celebrated by the pilgrims with the native indians. Then later on it just became a very important holiday in usa. Christmas and thanksgiving. Starting thanksgiving week all the way to new year, those are like big holiday season. Thanksgiving is a time when family gather and have festive thanksgiving dinner together.. Just like the chinese mid autumn Festival. Maybe I shouldn’t use thanksgiving to compare to single day, but black friday is not a holiday. It’s more like a shopping day. Maybe valentine will be more comparable to single day.

          EVery country have their own holidays.

      • Matt Smith

        More or less the same reason Chinese celebrate Mid-autumn Festival, almost every culture in the world has some form of “harvest festival,” which is to celebrate the fact that we have so much food at that time. There are plenty of other holidays you could have chosen that are much less meaningful, why on earth would you choose to mock Thanksgiving?

        • linette lee

          Well yes, I shouldn’t really brought up thanksgiving, but I did that because the first holiday came to my mind was thanksgiving which is right around the corner next week. I am just trying to say every culture has some kind of holiday. Nothing stupid.

          • rollin wit 9’s

            “I am just trying to say every culture has some kind of holiday. Nothing stupid”

            care to comment on ‘children’s day’ ???

          • linette lee

            Children’s Day 兒童節 is great. We have mother’s day, father’s day, and children’s day.

          • PixelPulse

            Everyday is childrens day.

    • Kristy

      I’m sorry that the Chinese are happy people and like to celebrate holidays. I never hear Chinese people moping about all the “stupid” holidays that the West has: Halloween, Valentine’s, Labor Day. Perhaps you need some happiness in your life.

      • Germandude

        Last time I checked, I got the impression many Chinese were celebrating Halloween, Valentine’s day and even Xmas. Labor day not so much, for other reasons.

      • maja

        I would not put labor day together with halloween and valentine’s and single’s and mother’s. etc. at very least it’s not an holiday in which you’re just supposed to buy stuff.

    • Brett

      haha, in Korea 11/11 is a day where people are supposed to give these long, slender, stick shaped cookies to people they like. Thoses cookie companies make a freaking killing.

      • linette lee

        What??!! The koreans celebrate 光棍節 singles day too? That is a chinese culture/holiday. The koreans are stealing chinese culture again. lol…..

        • Brett

          I think both countries started celebrating their respective holidays in the early 90’s… so who knows which group was the “copier”. Although, if one were to compare the influence Korean pop culture has on modern day Chinese pop culture with the lack of influence Chinese pop culture has on Korea, one might assume Korea didn’t steal anything.

          • linette lee

            Chinese pop culture has a pretty big influence on a very large population. 1.4 billions and all the chinese speaking countries next door, singapore, hong kong, taiwan, chinese in malaysia..etc…. So chinese holidays do have influence. That also explain an average chinese celebrity makes about US$2 to 5 millions annually. Bigger names makes US$12 to 30 millions. Jay chou net worth US$300 millions. Andy lau, tony leung, Jacky chen, aaron kwok..and many other makes US$20 million plus annually easy. That is because of the large population of audience.

          • Zhegezhege

            Yes, guang gun jie seems to have started in Korea.
            Chinese people like quoting their population statistics.
            The pockys look like 1s.
            It is all very clevar.

          • linette lee

            don’t be a retard. It’s a chinese holiday.


          • linette lee

            pocky sticks are Japanese. hahahaha……lol

          • linette lee

            You mean the koreans copy pocky sticks from Japanese too. hahah…lol

  • dim mak

    Remember when people were complaining how Valentine’s day was too commercial and materialistic


  • MrT

    China got money to spend where as the rest of the world suffers at the hands of American bankers. The west got a lot to learn.

    • linette lee

      Only the urban chinese have lots of money to spend. Not the rural chinese. China needs to fix that fast.

      • 5000 years of history.

        Brilliant comment! I am sure the Chinese goverement reads your suggestions!

      • G$

        Not nearly as fast as they need to fix the education gap between the urban and rural Chinese.

        • Kristy

          Not nearly as fast as America needs to fix their debt and the rest of the world needs to fix their upcoming recessions.

          Everyone has problems.

      • Germandude

        linette lee for president!

        • rollin wit 9’s

          do we get to vote?

          • MrT

            not allowed thank god

          • Germandude

            No cherry picking here. Let’s call it a democracy with Chinese influences. So we leave the voting out for now.

          • mr.wiener

            Of course not. this is China.

      • MrT

        I don’t know but I think they getting a good deal, they get good discounts on household living goods, Ive used their cards to buy fridges, washing machines etc.

        You know there is lot of rural people leading good life’s, nice houses,cars etc.

        yea it needs to improve but it aint going backwards in China unlike the rest of the world.

        You should see the back end of England some day, not like Hong Kong you know. No stuck cnts up for a start.

    • Zhegezhege

      What a politically acceptable interpretation of the article.

  • Jennster

    guangdong currently has the highest gdp for china, like 11-12% of the total. good going.

  • bluesummers



  • linette lee

    WOW…during holidays they should hire more temp workers. It’s too much work.

  • thmswhnr

    Instances like this highlight the competence gap between private and public enterprises in China. More of this and people will demand Taobao run the postal service and Alibaba run the railways.

    • Germandude

      Lol, good one. +1

  • G$

    Is it just more or where there a lot of people just standing around in the conveyor belt picture? Perhaps the Chinese still have some semblances of their Communism with “Chinese characteristics” (I think I just poked a hole in my cheek with my tongue when I typed that last bit) after all) That is a big cause of the USSR going belly up.

  • I Love China

    19.1 Billion yuan, for one day? I doubt that…

  • ShuangXi

    I ordered a ton of stuff on Taobao Sunday (the 11th).

    Some of the items JUST shipped (Friday), and at least one item has nothing more than marked as received status on the online tracking. Compare that to usually receiving things at my place n the 2nd or 3rd day after ordering.

    Reading this article I finally know why. Also explains why the sellers were being bitches when I contacted them asking why nothing has shipped. Didn’t even pay attention that I was shopping on Singles day. Guess I wil show a little forgiveness when writing the feedback.

    On the bright side, I saved a few tens of yuan.

  • El Puma R.

    I took the advantage of the discounts, me and my gf bought some stuff too.. now I see the pictures.. God damn it.. I’m still waiting for the intervalometer for my camera and my two 32gb SDHC class 10 memory cards =(

  • dandmcd

    Ordered a ton of stuff on discount, but only received about half of it so far while a couple things are MIA. Usually I get things next day, but now that we have photo evidence, I understand how big 11.11 truly was. I only had 1 package suffer damage that looked like it could have been in that mountain of shit, but what was inside was not damaged thankfully. The express delivery company in the picture is the one near my house. I almost want to volunteer and help them clean that mess up, and maybe find a couple of my packages at the bottom of the pile if I am lucky.

  • Choco

    No wonder my packages are taking so long to come here.

  • njren

    Shentong is the worst of the major express delivery services. Unless there’s no choice, I avoid sellers who use them.

    While college kids might have gorged on “pointless crap” that they otherwise would buy throughout the year anyway, there was an avalanche of deals on useful stuff if you knew what you wanted and/or needed. The trick, of course, is ID’ing artificial markups and discounts when you see them. Tough, unless you do a before-during-after comparison.

    Black Friday, 11/11, what’s the difference? 加油中国…empty those bank accounts, live it up, spend beyond your means, enjoy the fruits of your labor, harmonize with your 美国朋友!

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