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Royal Mail and Alibaba deal helps Chinese sellers ship to UK

By Dan Wilson November 11, 2015 - 6:40 am

Royal Mail and Alibaba are cooperating further to link Chinese exporters directly to UK online shoppers.

They already work together because Royal Mail have a shopfront on Alibaba’s Tmall. AliExpress, Alibaba Group’s global retail marketplace for consumers, will offer Chinese exporters new Royal Mail shipping solutions. Delivery will be within two weeks.

The press release says that both AliExpress merchants in China and online shoppers in the UK will benefit from the new shipping solutions. Upon purchase and selection of the Royal Mail delivery option, items will be airfreighted to the UK to enter Royal Mail’s network for quick and reliable delivery through its Tracked 48 or First Class services.

Royal Mail will also offer tracking information to merchants on the AliExpress platform by supplying 2D barcode labels for AliExpress shipments.

Richard Snowdon of Royal Mail says: “We are focused on our strategy of growing import and export volumes, and developing ecommerce solutions is an important part of that. Faster, secure, high quality delivery options are key, as parcel transit times and tracking visibility are important to international e-retailers and consumers alike. China is Royal Mail’s largest import country partner, and Royal Mail’s new service for AliExpress further complements this important strategic partnership.”

Joe Yan of Aliexpress adds: “Our mission is to make cross border trade enjoyable and hassle-free for the merchants and consumers that use our platform. By collaborating with Royal Mail, we are working with a trusted delivery partner in a very important market to improve the cross border shopping experience to the UK consumer.”

  • ifellow
    1 year ago

    We worked it out as about 0.40p for 500 grams tracked. China mainland to UK.

    • greyisf
      1 year ago

      Unbelievable, is there anyone with the power to stop this happening? who do we need to write to/petition, we are literally giving the country away

  • Ross
    1 year ago

    It is already cheaper to post some parcels from China to the UK than it is to post the same parcel within the UK.
    For RM to encourage this seems like they’re laughing at their British customers for over paying for their services.

    • ifellow
      1 year ago

      The price is based on a small package, like jiffy bag phone cover or whatever. I think the big advantage is they get these rates internationally. Whereas in the UK Sending to USA or even Europe is so expensive.

    • Stuart
      1 year ago

      We use RM Max Sort to USA and it’s cheaper than sending the same parcel within the UK! cRaZy!

  • Stuart
    1 year ago

    Thanks for stabbing us in the back Royal Mail, when you put all the UK online merchants out of business enjoy delivering your 40p parcels from China.

    • Gerry007
      1 year ago

      .
      Hear, hear…..

  • Mark Sugden
    1 year ago

    We’ve seen this coming for a while now. Chris can we get access to anyone from the Royal Mail to explain why it can be cheaper to send from China to the UK then from UK to UK? I’d really like to know how and why they’re delivering packets so cheaply?

    • ifellow
      1 year ago

      Just my opinion and im guessing simlar to the deal they struck in USA.

      They allow sellers to have tracking, because other wise they would be delivering the parcels for free anyway.

      So better to make a small amount by selling tracking/proof of delivery ontop than nothing at all. They have to sell tracking/proof of delivery on top as there have nothing else to sell. The US postal service where the first to set up this kind of deal a while ago now. Because they were simply delivering too many parcels for 0 income.

      The service will still be picked up by royal mail in the UK. But it simply integrates tracking at the chinese end.

      The alternative is there is no royal mail at the chinese end and they deliver goods for free anyway.

    • ifellow
      1 year ago

      My point is, the man in the middle remains the same. But royal mail have a point at label creation, and as they do now final delivery.

      So out of the 40p they get for example 10p and 10p is the addon of tracked/proof of delivery.

      The price is low enough for chinese sellers to consider it worth it, and royal mail get something than nothing at all.

      (Numbers and royal mails margins are guesses)

      Of more concern it the quoted high speed delivery, because royal mail 48 can take longer and sometimes never arrive at all.

    • Gerry007
      1 year ago

      .
      Cost of postage from china has been a topic for some time & RM are just feeding the debate.
      When they offer proof of delivery/tracked to us UK business customer for 10p then I won’t complain. till then, as far as I can see RM are using the excessive profits made from UK business customers to subsidize their Chinese and US customers.

      RM will raise their prices in ASpril even though fuel (a major % of their costs) have been 30%+ lower for 2 years now, this will make them offer our chinese competitors even better deals while we pay silly high prices.

      66g LL to Norway EU, OBA £2.86p GBP no proof of delivery, who are they klidding, this is silly……

    • 1 year ago

      It’s all to do with the UPU and postal terminal fees…

      “Not all countries are at the same stage of development and there are significant variations in their mail volumes, postal tariffs and cost absorption. The aim is thus to progressively incorporate the developing and least developed countries into a target system that already applies to industrialized countries.”

      Basically China gets a pretty good deal at the moment.

    • Jason
      1 year ago

      Does this mean some of the money we UK sellers pay partially subsidies Chinese sellers?

    • ifellow
      1 year ago

      This is correct.

      Free shipping from china means effectively.what it says

  • ifellow
    1 year ago

    I dont know if anyone has read

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crickhowell-welsh-town-moves-offshore-to-avoid-tax-on-local-business-a6728971.html

    But id be willing to do a similar thing there.

    Whereby we share warehousing, staff costs etc.

    You will need to register your company however in Hong kong or Shanghai FTZ. There is 0 tax in Hong Kong for activity on exports.

    My business is more courier based, however if i had a strong partner/partners this is something i could get going quite easily and would want to partner up on. Company registeration is easy, its the other expense and logistics id like help pooling resources on, as well as management

  • Jason
    1 year ago

    I can’t help but comment maybe RM should focus more on helping UK sellers…

    • Gerry007
      1 year ago

      .
      Is it a bird, is It a plane, is it a stork carrying post from china, no it’s RM man screwing their UK customer base and destroying their businesses…..

  • Sam O'levski
    1 year ago

    Perhaps it’s about time they removed the ‘Royal’ part of the name, as they’re certainly not acting with the interest of British businesses at heart.
    I wonder also, if Joe Yan would be willing to have a word in the ear of the Chinese government/postal service and ask them, in the interests of fairness within cross border trade, to allow uk sellers to have goods delivered to China for the same price as their sellers get it delivered to here ?

    • Gerry007
      1 year ago

      .
      RM response please…

  • 1 year ago

    It kills UK businesses, they already sell everything dead cheap. If ship something overseas it costs me a fortune. Thank you Royal Mail.

  • knickerlessparsons
    1 year ago

    Any guesses how many of the packets RM bring in for peanuts will have customs labels showing values over $10?

  • Paul
    1 year ago

    Any guesses on how much VAT will pay those chinese sellers in UK? Or how HMRC will enforce the law in China? They are not able to deal properly with Amazon & eBay in UK, now imagine what a good job they will do with Alibaba..

  • Paul
    1 year ago

    Interestingly, HMRC announced that they are closing some of their offices.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/nov/12/hmrc-staff-braced-for-thousands-of-job-cuts-if-tax-offices-close

    I used to work for HMRC in the late 1980s and it was calculated at the time that each Tax Inspector brought in far more unpaid tax that they were paid (think it was a factor of 4 or so).

    Still, I now couldn’t get a job in HMRC as a specialist in the online economy, despite being a qualified accountant, because HMRC demand that all employees (including filing clerks) have a degree (and I never got one of those because I was born in the 1960s, and people of my age didn’t necessarily get degrees, despite myself having the equivalent of two degrees).

    Still, I’m sure there are plenty of willing 20 year old graduates with degrees in ‘golf course management’, or ‘forensic science’, in HMRC who are ready to tackle Chinese VAT evasion.

    Or not….

    • dan
      1 year ago

      i agree with this, im in my late 20’s, and it does seem everyone i know with degrees, in very soft subjects mainly (eg sociology!) are in jobs, they got for merely having the degree!

      4 people on the sociology course, one is a hobby-bobby, the other a primary school teacher, one a maths secondary teacher and the other in the fire service… all from a degree which doesnt relate to either job!

  • Gerry007
    1 year ago

    .
    Hands up here, like many buy in China…..

    He is the problem, we sent some samples to a chinese supplier, the packet (international signed for @ £11.49p GBp) took 3 weeks to arrive in china, then another 2 weeks to get to the local provence. After this it disappaered for 2 weeks, then suddenly reappearesd only to be held for just 3 days by the chinese post system waiting for collection as they could not find the address in china, then to be ‘returned to sender, not called for’…

    We resent the anopther packet, that , well is in the postal service in the sky somewhere, says signed for, but the receving person says not teceived…

    By the way, the 1st packet STILL has not arrived back here….

    At over £22 (2x LL sized packets) RM and China post should be discussed with themselves, let alone the argument that is in this topic.

    • Gerry007
      1 year ago

      .
      disgusted….

    • Derek Duval
      1 year ago

      Lived and worked in Asia 7 years, a word to the wise Honesty and integrity aint part of Asian culture…Good luck selling there..

    • ifellow
      1 year ago

      I agree you need to be so careful, sometimes you hear someone complaining there supplier have no honour and blah blah, clearly seen to many japanese martial arts movies. It takes many years to get good relations in asia.

  • ifellow
    1 year ago

    So i ordered my fake cap from aliexpress

    Date

    2015.11.06

    It arrived today

    2015.11.13

    It came from Radius park, feltham, TW14 ONG.

    This must be royal mails new sorting office.

    The seller indicated the shipping service as

    Royal Mail Economy tracking LP0004311*******

    The package has a royal mail label on it with 2d barcode, as we are all going to be forced to use next year. The 6×4 ones. Its exactly the same.

    This label seems to have been applied manually in the UK.

    There is a CN22 label.

    There is a barcode with the original tracking number on the parcel at the base (Not where the new labels put recorded numbers)

    I have tried to track on the royal mail website, it is not working there maybe somewhere else this tracking is fed too for the seller to check directly.

    From what i paid for the product i suspect the cost for this service is around $2.50 to $3.25/ But i cannot be sure.

    • ifellow
      1 year ago

      *Note

      This product is now on sale

      Price:
      £6.67 / piece

      Discount Price:
      £3.67 for 6 days

      Upon checking i have paid even less for 3 other caps i ordered, lowest at

      £ 2.74 including delivery to the UK.

      Hence i suspect my shipping cost estimations to be wrong and far to high.

    • Gerry007
      1 year ago

      .
      Might assist:

      http://track-chinapost.com/

    • ifellow
      1 year ago

      it doesnt track on that site.

      However its shipped from China with tracking.

      Then sent to feltham, (or perhaps another location depending on what part of the UK its going)

      Then its scanned, re-labled and send out for delivery. They put a royal mail 2d label on top of the original Chinese one.

      The sorting office in feltham seems to be

      http://www.customsclearanceuk.com/

      A 3rd party contractor.

      So this is all more reliable and cheaper than Royal mails 48 service within the UK by apparently 80% or more.

      A real kick in the teeth seeing as I just refunded a German customer for an item not arrived.

  • ifellow
    1 year ago

    Sorry to go on. just trying to keep people informed

    This parcel was trackable at

    http://www.sinoair.com/index.php?styleid=2

    Via the International Express option.

    This is royal mails partner for China to UK services. This company is China State owned.

  • 1 year ago

    So does anyone know a way to register as a Chinese seller with Royal Mail, get their post bulk delivered (either to Feltham or somewhere offshore like the Channel Islands) so Royal Mail can re-label it and deliver it to our customers with the same impressive tracking Chinese sellers get and for the same low, low price Chinese sellers pay ?

    Or perhaps our government would prefer to hammer the final nail into British manufacturing’s coffin while we get stuff drop-shipped from China because it’s now even cheaper than ever.

  • Adam
    1 year ago

    Bad news. Many of us might as well pack up and admit defeat. Extremely low labour costs, no need to provide for staff pensions etc, false descriptions (e.g. “silver”, “designer” etc), no VAT & little other tax paid – and now very low shipping charges.

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