China’s Largest Locker Systems Hive Box Buys Competitor, Ends Free Services

May 6, 2020 10:41 pm

China’s largest express locker system Hive Box announced to acquire the second largest locker system China Post, state-owned postal service company, on Wednesday evening, May 6. When the deal is complete the China Post locker service will become a whole subsidy of Hive Box.

China has 406,000 smart locker units in total currently. Hive Box, owned by China's second largest courier SF Express, has 170,000 locker units across China, and China Post enjoys 94,000. The top two express locker systems reached a market share of 65% in total.

After playing a dominant role in the smart locker market in China, Hive Box said to charge fees for parcels that stored in locker for more than 12 hours, starting from April 30.

Hive Box suffered losses in the past few years, as it only charged couriers a few cents for each parcels before the deal was made. It saw a loss of RMB 1,300 million in 2019.

Zhao Xiaomin, expert on logistics said that as China’s unicorn, Hive Box’s acquisition will facilitate the company’s occupation of market in China and promote the popularization and market scale of locker units. Furthermore, the acquisition lays a solid foundation for Hive Box’s IPO in the future.