SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- Parcel shipments in Seoul increased 26.9 percent last year from the previous year, a study showed Monday, as an increasing number of people prefer ordering food and daily necessities online amid the spread of COVID-19.
According to the AI-based study by the University of Seoul, parcel deliveries of food, household items and health products in the capital surged by around 50 percent in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In contrast, the study said maternity and baby care products were the only category reporting decreased delivery shipments, apparently reflecting the nation's falling birthrate.
The study found that parcel deliveries for household and health products, such as hand sanitizers and masks, showed the biggest on-year increase of 52 percent last year, while the volume of online food delivery surged 46 percent.
Parcel shipping of furniture and interior goods also increased by 39 percent, compared with 31 percent for books and music albums, 29 percent for sports and leisure goods, and 16 percent for clothing, it said.
Notably, the volume of parcel delivery demand for DIY goods and supplies spiked in March, August and December, when social distancing rules were strengthened.
Exceptionally, however, the volume of maternity and baby care products handled by local courier service providers last year decreased 19 percent from the previous year, the study said, adding Seoul's birthrate dropped from 0.72 to 0.64 in the 2019-2020 period.
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