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Hanjin Express to stop night delivery service after courier’s death

Members from a courier rights group protest after the death of Hanjin Express courier, in front of Hanjin Express’ headquarters in Seoul on Oct. 19. (Yonhap)
Members from a courier rights group protest after the death of Hanjin Express courier, in front of Hanjin Express’ headquarters in Seoul on Oct. 19. (Yonhap)

Logistics firm Hanjin Express said Monday it would stop nighttime delivery shifts starting November, after one of its couriers died apparently from overwork.

It is the first time a local logistic company has abolished night shifts.

To prevent overwork and control the workload, Hanjin said it will increase both the number of delivery vehicles and delivery workers during holiday periods and times when there is more demand.

“As delivery packages are concentrated on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we will disperse the workload to other days, to control the workload,” a Hanjin Express official said.

As logistics firms have largely been criticized for not paying couriers for sorting out packages before they go on actual delivery work, Hanjin said it would employ about 1,000 workers at its logistics centers to carry out that part of the work.

The company said it would also invest 50 billion won ($44.3 million) to introduce automatic sorting machines. By 2023, the company vowed to plow in over 400 billion won to strengthen its delivery system.

On Oct. 12, one of the company’s couriers was found dead at home. The courier reportedly had sent a text message to his colleague, expressing difficulties about his heavy workload.

Hanjin issued an apology on Oct. 20 and vowed to come up with ways to improve the situation faced by its workers.

CJ Logistics also announced a set of protection measures on Oct. 22 to improve the working environment for its couriers. The measures include reducing work hours, reorganizing the company system to reduce the workload and creating a cooperative support fund.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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