Authorities are tightening security checks on courier services across China following a devastating warehouse explosion and series of deadly parcel-bomb blasts.
To step up scrutiny on the world's largest express-delivery market, the government is requiring X-ray checks on all mail, while courier services must inspect all packages before sealing them, China's Ministry of Public Security said Thursday. Users of delivery and logistics services are also required to register with their real names, according to an account on the ministry's website of an interagency meeting.
The ministry didn't give details on how the new measures would be implemented, or how they compare with existing postal security procedures. Some of these measures were previously put in place for parcels and express deliveries to Beijing in August and September, when China marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II with a grand military parade.
The meeting involved 15 government agencies taking part in a five-month campaign to improve security of delivery services and safe handling of hazardous materials. As part of that effort authorities will increase supervision over explosives and dangerous goods by enhancing checks on their production, sales, transportation, storage and usage, the report said.
The security sweep marks the latest crackdown on courier services in recent years, and it follows two deadly incidents that captured public attention.
Couriers toting large trailers full of delivery boxes are a common sight outside office and apartment buildings across China, where the rise of e-commerce has spurred a rapid expansion of delivery and logistics services. About two dozen major express delivery companies operate across the country, while thousands of regional operations have sprung up.
In a June report, Deloitte estimated China's express-delivery market to be the world's largest, tallying some 13.96 billion deliveries and generating some 204.5 billion yuan ($32 billion) in revenue last year.
It isn't clear how the new rules may affect the industry, though Chinese authorities have cracked down on courier services in previous years, such as restricting the goods they are allowed to deliver to ensure safety. In 2012, authorities seized empty artillery shells that a delivery company was attempting to ship on a civil aircraft, according to the Hefei Airport police and official media.