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Unfading “green post express”
enorth.com.cn   2008-10-23 09:10



(Enorth.com.cn)“When I was a letter carrier, I sent letters and news papers by a bicycle. People wait for letter at door. I cannot see them waiting at door nowadays,” said Jin Baolu, director in charge of delivery business of the market operation department of Tianjin Municipal Postal Administration. He still remembers the old days when he sent letters by a bicycle. “Nowadays, Tongcheng Express delivers letters within a day; Remittance service can remit money in minutes; While business like the collection of charge rate and insurance premium emerge because of people’s demands. Many letter carriers can ride electric bicycles and even drive cars. I had never dreamed of them 30 years ago.”

From a ordinary letter carrier and a team leader to a director, Jin Baolu’s promotion witnesses the great changes took place in Tianjin Municipal Postal Administration over the 30 years of reform and opening-up.

Letter, money remittance and telegram come into disfavor

30 years ago, when a letter carrier opened a green mailbox, letters may pour out of it. In those days, many educated urban youths went and worked in the countryside. Every day, when I pressed the bell, people came out of house and waited for their letters from away. In the years when the communication industry was not so developed, letters are the commonest way for a youth to keep in touch with his parents. I believe many people have still the memory.

“In the past, a great number of people sent letters. Most majority of these letters are between family members. I had to sent 400 or 500 letters every day,” said Jin Baolu, “Along with the scientific and technological development, telephones and mobile phones are available to common people. Therefore, people write letters less and less. Current, very few people contact others in such an outdated way. Mails delivered through post offices are dominated by business letters, statements of account, leaflets or presswork.”

The fast-growing communication industry occupies some market shares of post business. I think most youths born later than 1980s have little idea about telegram. 30 years earlier, however, telegram is a faster way to send information to a remote place. Telegram covered either large cities or small towns. The communication industry was not so developed in those days, people far away from each other had to connect via telegram in case of emergencies.

According to Ren Liqiang, a staff of the literary history center of Tianjin Municipal Postal Administration, since the reform and opening-up, long-distance and local calls have been available to common people, while mobile phones are also prevailing among people. However, telegram had been faded away. In the late 1980s and the early 1990s, home telephones were popularized. At last Tianjin Municipal Postal Administration cancelled the telegram service.

Expanding new business and keeping jobs

Before the reform and opening-up, Tianjin Municipal Postal Administration occupied a monopolistic position. Since its volume of business was not related to the income, employees did not care about it. After the reform and opening-up, the policy of secure employment was cancelled gradually, thus the income of employees was closely linked with profit. Therefore, people were aware that they must struggle in the market and make more profit in order to keep their jobs. After enhanced the service consciousness, Tianjin Municipal Postal Administration expanded business in line with people’s demands and followed a new road.30 years earlier, there were only 200 post offices all together. People had to line up to transact procedures, thus complaints can be heard everywhere. After reform and opening-up, post offices placed more attentions to service. They improved hardware equipment, expanded business areas and added service windows. Up to date, post offices were increased to 460 in Tianjin.

Over the three decades, the business of Tianjin Municipal Postal Administration has been improved from the delivery of civilian letters and parcels and the money remittance to the logistics of large-scale goods. Ren Liqiang said: “Registered letters, registered parcels and remittances are all registered mails that have to been received and signed by recipients. In transacting these businesses, one has to go through many procedures and spend more time. Take remittance for example, a sum of money will be remitted within Tianjin in a few days and sent to other places in a longer time. In such an information-based era, money can be remitted to anywhere anytime through a computer, making people’s lives more convenient. If one send a mail through Tongcheng Express, the mail can be delivered in Tianjin within a day and sent to Shanghai in two days. This is vastly different from that in the past.”

During the reform and opening-up, the fast-growing communication industry has brought great impact on post offices. On the contrary, they offered more convenient services to common people, made breakthroughs in business and released abundant products. From the payroll service in the past to the collection of charge rate, the agency of funds, and the reservation of air tickets at present, each business impressed people with their service consciousness.

In response to challenges, China Post can set up a new brand. The “11185” post service hotline becomes an advantageous business in the new period. After EMS opened international and domestic services in 1980 and 1984, it was popular among companies. Its rapid and safe delivery of documents, samples and goods won a good reputation for it. Besides, all customers thumbed up for its thoughtful services like free door pick-up, free follow-up and inquiry, customs broker and packaging.

The high-level service of post offices won reputations among people and companies. Although Tianjin Municipal Postal Administration may face great challenges in the days to come, its experiences in the past 30 years enabled it to have more confidence and a brilliant future.


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Editor: Zhang Jialu

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