Cainiao: sustainability initiatives reduced delivery distance during 11.11 event

Cainiao: sustainability initiatives reduced delivery distance during 11.11 event

Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, today announced the results of its sustainability initiatives which culminated in a greener 11.11 event this year.

As part of its efforts to broaden its green initiatives, Cainiao embraced a three-pronged approach to reduce wastage during this 11.11 by tapping on technology-driven green innovations, reducing use of paper and plastics, and establishing industry partnerships to deliver greater impact.

In the area of green innovations, Cainiao’s self-developed smart-packaging algorithms helped sort products into right-sized boxes and minimize waste from overpacking for 12 million shipments during 11.11. Machine learning and predictive analytics were also used to ensure accurate demand forecasts which allowed Cainiao to pre-stock popular products at locations closer to consumers ahead of 11.11. This not only reduced delivery time but also cut down the delivery distance by an estimated 100 km in total.

To ensure greater sustainability, nearly 100% of the packaging shipped from Cainiao warehouses were biodegradable, and close to 50% of the paper packaging were tape-free. Widespread adoption of Cainiao electronic shipping label among courier companies also helped to reduce about 2.2 billion pieces of paper during 11.11. Consumers can also recycle unwanted boxes at over 80,000 Cainiao Post stations located across the country.

Lastly, to amplify the impact, Cainiao teamed up with nearly 500 brands – including Nestlé, Philips and P&G – to opt for reusable and tape-free packaging across its warehouses. This has helped reduce over 86 million meters of plastic tape (which is about two times around the earth!). Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé also joined Cainiao’s National Cardboard Box Recycling Day campaign to promote recycling across communities, including rewarding plastic-recycling efforts with its products. The brand also inked an agreement with Cainiao to further co-innovate on sustainable packaging.

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