The E-commerce Logistics Index (ELI) for March came in at 110.2, up 1.2 points from a month earlier, according to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
The sub-indexes of total business volume, rural business volume, logistics timeliness, order fulfillment rate, customer satisfaction, costs and industry practitioners all increased from a month earlier, while those of inventory turnover rate and actual load rate of freight vehicles decreased.
The index of total business volume reached 126.5 in March, up 0.6 points from a month earlier, indicating a steadily rising demand for logistics services, with central China posting the highest expansion of 4.2 points from a month earlier.
The indexes of logistics timeliness, order fulfillment rate and customer satisfaction grew by 1.6, 2.3 and 3.1 points respectively.
The index of inventory turnover rate came in at 102.1, down 2.1 points from a month earlier but approximately the same compared with last March.
Analysts with the federation attributed the mild decline to stock replenishment after the Spring Festival in preparation for later peak season sales promotion.
The index of actual load rate of freight vehicles went down from a month earlier but was still 3 points higher than the same period last year, said the report.
These figures showed logistics efficiency remained on good levels, it said. The index concerning industry practitioners stood at 102.6, up 2.3 points from a month earlier but staying at low levels of around 100 for 3 consecutive months, which indicated a lingering shortage of human resources.
Wang Wei, director of Market Economy Research Institute of Development Research Center of The State Council, attributed the mild growth of e-commerce logistics to increasing household consumption and sales promotion activities on Women's Day.
But the continuous high costs and labor shortage would restrict the performance in logistics timeliness, order fulfillment and customer satisfaction, Wang said.