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Number of delivery workers hits new high in 2020 amid pandemic

(Courtesy of Mesh Korea)
(Courtesy of Mesh Korea)
SEJONG -- The number of delivery workers in South Korea swelled nearly 12 percent in the second half of last year to hit a record high amid the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Wednesday.

Asia's fourth-largest economy had 390,000 carriers as of the end of December last year, up 11.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

The tally covers mailmen, door-to-door couriers, food delivery workers, newspaper deliverers, and carriers of milk and other beverages.

The number of delivery workers had ranged from 310,000 to 350,000 till 2019 before surging to 371,000 in the first half of last year and reaching a record high six months later.

The surge was attributed largely to higher demand for delivery stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent social distancing measures, which forced more people to stay home.

Last year, the value of online food delivery service came to 17.4 trillion won, up 78.6 percent from the previous year.

The country's 18 courier companies handled nearly 3.38 billion items in 2020, up 21 percent from a year earlier, according to the data. (Yonhap)