Logistics Companies Refuse to Transport Illegal Wildlife Products


Published May 12, 2019 12:15 AM by The Maritime Executive

14 leading courier and logistics companies in China have signed a voluntary code of practice to refuse delivery of illegal wildlife and products to demonstrate their commitment to curbing illegal trade in wild animals and plants. 

The companies include 90 percent of the country’s courier and logistics companies, included domestic giants EMS, SF-Express and YTO-Express alongside well-known international companies DHL and FedEx. 

With the booming of e-commerce in China, domestic courier and logistics industries have developed rapidly, with a total of 50.71 billion packages delivered in 2018. The companies have occasionally been used by criminals as a channel to transport wildlife and products illegally. 

The signing of the voluntary code follows a public declaration of zero tolerance towards the illegal wildlife trade made by 17 courier companies during an event held on World Wildlife Day which was facilitated by TRAFFIC, China’s Management Authority for the Convention on International Trade in  Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the State Post Bureau and China Express Association. 

Signatories of the voluntary code are: EMS, SF-Express, ZTO-Express, UTO-Express, TO-Expres, Yunda-Express, Deppon-Express, Best-Express, JD-Logistics, ZJS-Express, Suning-Logistics, China Air Express, DHL and FedEx.

Figures for the scale of illegal wildlife trade worldwide vary: a 2012 WWF-commissioned report estimated its value as at least $19 billion per year, making it the fourth largest illegal global trade after narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking.

The Southeast Asia region functions as a source, transit and destination for a wide variety of trafficked wildlife products, including elephant ivory, rhino horn, timber, pangolins, reptiles, tigers and songbirds. Recent wildlife seizures offer a recurring insight into the scale of the onslaught facing the natural world. Over the last couple of months, around 25 tons of pangolin scales, 17 tons of ivory and 167 rhino horns have been seized by enforcement officers.