College students carry their packages sent from home to their dormitories at Chongqing Technology and Business University in Chongqing on Sept 3. (Photo: China Daily)
Freshmen using express delivery firms to ferry their possessions to colleges can now pick them up from smart lockers at some universities that use cameras to scan their faces or personal QR codes.
Courier companies implemented facial recognition functions this year to make their operations more efficient. With smart lockers on more campuses, express delivery has become more popular.
"I did not take anything with me on my way to school," a first-year student surnamed Zhang at Zhejiang University said. "I packed my stuff into a parcel and called the deliveryman to pick it. Three days later, after I arrived in school, I got the parcel from the smart locker by scanning my face. It is easy and convenient."
Wang Song, a deliveryman who works at logistics platform Cainiao's logistics station at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said: "As a deliveryman, the smart locker helps me a lot. I sometimes need to wait for a long time until the students come to pick up their parcels. Now I simply put the parcels in the locker and send the pickup code to their mobile phones."
The company released a report on Friday saying that Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, Hubei province; Zhejiang University and Hangzhou Normal University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province; Sichuan University in Chengdu, Sichuan province; and Jiangnan University in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, topped the list of universities where students were making use of express delivery to smart lockers.
The items being delivered are many and varied. In addition to clothes and bedding, some students have arranged the delivery of small refrigerators, home appliances, wardrobes and bicycles to schools. Some have sent parcels of books weighing up to 50 kilograms.
"Before the new students came to school, our station received a lot of parcels, and most of them were large," said Zhou Shun, head of the Cainiao logistics station at Huazhong Agricultural University. "I always joke with my friends that they are moving their home to the school."
For new students traveling long distances to college, express delivery means they can set out from home with lighter packs.
"My hometown is more than 2,000 kilometers from Beijing, and as a rock music lover, I found I needed my guitar in my campus life," said Renat Dilmurat, who is studying for a master's degree at Peking University. "But whether I travel by air or by train to the school, it is a huge burden if I take my instruments and amplifier with me.
"It cost me about 300 yuan ($42) to deliver my stuff to the school, and it only took three days. With a QR code from my phone scanned by a camera, I collected my equipment safe and sound. I could not have imagined such a way to deliver when I was an undergraduate student many years ago."