Alternative dispute resolution

in the contracts of international package delivery



By Shuoting Zheng

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France and China



As the rapid development of cross-border e-commerce, the industry of international package delivery is growing at a surprising speed. As contractual disputes within this industry are omnipresent and often lead to serious results, this paper is aimed at finding out the best resolution for these disputes. By the end of this paper, we will be able to know what the alternatives are for resolving disputes in the contract of international package delivery as well as which alternative is the most appropriate one to implement. In order to evaluate the six possible alternatives which are proposed, we give eleven different attributes that can assess the alternatives effectively. Throughout this paper, with the help of Disjunctive Reasoning Technique, Addictive Weight Technique, Pareto Analysis and other efficient techniques, we discover that prevention which focuses on the effective cooperation and information-sharing between the parties interested is the best alternative. However, if disputes have arisen, negotiation and standing neutral are the most appropriate dispute resolutions in the industry of international package delivery.

Keywords: Alternative Dispute Resolution/ADR, International package delivery, Cross-border e-commerce, Contract, Standing neutral, Arbitration, Negotiation, Prevention, Litigation.


In recent years, with the rise and the rapid development of cross-border e-commerce, the industry of international package delivery is developing in a high speed: “it is growing at a rate of 10 billion pieces per year in China”.[1] “In 2014, the trading volume of international package delivery accounted for 24.6% of global GDP. Actually, this industry is driven by China, Japan and USA”.[2] “According to AliResearch, in 2020, the trading volume of global e-commerce will reach 3,4 trillion US dollars and the number of cross-border e-commerce users will be estimated to reach 2,1 billion.”[3] In addition, “the trading volume of global B2C e-commerce is expected to be 3,4 trillion US dollars and the logistics cost will reach 1,02 trillion US dollars”.[4]

Indeed, international package delivery is much more complex than we can imagine, it not only involves many people from customers to deliverers but also involves lots of processes like warehousing, transportation, distribution, taxation across national borders… In order to ensure the safe transportation of the cargo or define the related responsibilities, contracts are usually signed. Generally, a contract is the key to avoiding possible disputes in the coming future. However, the package delivery among countries is much more complex than that within a country, lots of possibilities will happen during the whole process.

“As a result, lots of serious conflicts arising between the related parties (the consignor, the carrier, the consignee, the insurer…) and contract usually can’t meet the demand to resolve this kind of complicated disputes among several related parties”.[5] Since disputes are common, one of the main objectives in international package delivery industry is to clarify the root causes of different disputes.


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Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Zheng, S. (2019). Alternative dispute resolution in the contracts of international package delivery, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue II (February).  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/pmwj79-Feb2019-Zheng-alternative-dispute-resolution-in-contracts.pdf


About the Author

Shuoting ZHENG

SKEMA Business School
Lille, France




Shuoting Zheng is a 22-year-old Chinese student, currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Project & Programme management and Business Development at SKEMA Business School in France. She graduated from Central South University of Forestry and Technology in 2018 in China and obtained the Bachelor’s Degree of French Language. During the last year of her university, she had grasped the precious opportunity to study as an exchange student in University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in Reims, France. Thanks to her educational background, she is a trilingual speaker.

During her period of university in China, she has worked as intern in several companies like China Telecom and earned lots of precious experiences of social practice.

She has excellent skills about problem-solving and adaptability. She is also good at communicating as well as listening and this makes her own strong ability to work in a team.

As a postgraduate student of Project Management, she has obtained some professional certifications like PRINCE2, AgilePM, GPM-b which prove that she is qualified to be a part of a project management team. View more about her on LinkedIn: Shuoting ZHENG.

Feel free to contact her on [email protected]u


[1] 2017 China Express Industry Development Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.chyxx.com/industry/201711/586648.html

[2] China Post Bureau: The growth rate of express delivery is 6 times faster than GDP. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://politics.people.com.cn/n/2015/0327/c70731-26757161.html

[3] [Global Cross-border Logistics Industry Report] “Three Giants” and “Postal Network”. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sohu.com/a/156041400_354900

[4] [Global Cross-border Logistics Industry Report] “Three Giants” and “Postal Network”. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sohu.com/a/156041400_354900

[5] How to deal with disputes in delivery industry. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.66law.cn/fangan/anli_353/