Interest is growing over the legislative movement to support the comparatively high parcel shipping costs in islands and mountainous areas. Lawmaker Wi Seong-gon (Seogwipo City, Jeju) of the Democratic Party has introduced the “Partial Amendment to the Living Logistics Service Industry Development Act.”
The gap of general logistics costs is significantly high between cities and islands/mountainous areas. It is 7.1 times on average—21 times for home appliances, 11 times for household goods, and 9 times for electronics—higher compared to cities.
Moreover, because an average Jeju resident uses parcel delivery services about 50 times a year, it costs additionally 100,000 won per person and 60 billion won for the whole island every year, compared to those living in the mainland urban areas.
Such a high shipping cost is hurting the local economy as it is reflected in the price competitiveness of various agricultural and livestock products, including citruses.
According to the amended bill, the national and local governments are required to establish and implement a plan to improve service charges and subsidize shipping costs for areas with poor logistics services, such as islands and mountainous regions, including the main island of Jeju.
“We cannot lower logistics costs for vulnerable areas, such as islands and mountainous areas, without direct support from the government,” said Assemblyperson Wi. “Through state subsidies, we must contribute to bridging the logistics cost gap between urban areas and islands/mountainous areas,” he explained.
He added, “I will continue to communicate and persuade relevant ministries so that legislation can be reviewed and passed expeditiously.”
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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