Cainiao: elevating operations to enhance cross-border logistics efficiency

Cainiao: elevating operations to enhance cross-border logistics efficiency

Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, has announced a series of measures to boost its logistics capabilities ahead of  this 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. The measures aim to optimize delivery of orders generated by Alibaba’s cross-border e-commerce platforms to consumers around the world.

In anticipation of surging demand from consumers on AliExpress during 11.11, Cainiao has implemented a series of measures to instill greater stability. These include chartering 300 flights with cargo capacity of over 30,000 tons to expedite delivery of goods from China to consumers around the world. For fast-growing markets such as South America, chartered flights have more than doubled ahead of 11.11, from three weekly flights last year to seven this year. This number is expected to increase significantly during the duration of the sales event.

In Europe and Russia, to further enhance cross-border shipping efficiency, Cainiao officially launched eight overseas distribution centers in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Russia and Hungary. These distributions centers are equipped with automated smart logistics systems, IoT and other smart logistics facilities to decrease operational costs by over 50 percent, with those in Spain, France, Germany and Italy boasting total daily parcel handling capacities of half a million, and peak hourly processing capacities of 3,000 parcels.

These distribution centers will also serve as centralized hubs in their respective countries, where consolidation, transshipment and other activities can be carried out to maintain the speed of cargo movements. For example, European orders will be shipped to Cainiao’s eHub in Liege, Belgium, then transported to one of the distribution centers to be dispatched to their respective destinations via the trucking and last-mile logistics network. Currently, Cainiao’s European trucking network spans 30 countries, with an average of 80 vehicles operating daily. This network is projected to expand to 3,000 vehicles during 11.11.

In the last mile network, Cainiao has also set up close to 5,000 Cainiao-branded lockers in Europe and Russia to provide contactless pickup for consumers. It is also partnering with local logistics providers to include more third-party self-collection points and lockers to diversify last-mile logistics offerings.

In Southeast and North Asia, Cainiao has secured additional cargo space in over 1,350 flights with a total capacity of 4,500 tonnes, 210 sea freight trips with 1,170 containers, and 150 trucks totaling 700 tonnes, to support cross-border deliveries for Tmall, Taobao and Lazada consumers for the entire month of November.

“Over the years, 11.11 has showcased the tremendous demand from consumers across the globe. In gearing up for another successful 11.11, technology plays a critical role in the seamless execution and delivery of billions of parcels globally,” said William Xiong, Cainiao‘s Chief Strategist and General Manager for Export Logistics. “Behind every great shopping festival is great logistics efficiently and reliably meeting great consumer expectations. Our technology will accelerate the automation of every aspect of the delivery journey, from sorting facilities and warehousing to customs clearance and last-mile delivery, to create a truly global infrastructure that can bolster the eCommerce boom.”

Smart logistics fueling delivery of international goods to China

Cainiao’s smart warehouses in China are also upgraded with full-chain logistics services to better support the needs of merchants, including pre-stocking, quality inspection, coding of items, assembly and repackaging for export, and more. This upgrade facilitates the end-to-end automation of order fulfillment and customer service, saving time and operation cost for merchants. By undertaking full-chain logistics, merchants would not have to develop their own warehousing and supply chain capabilities. Instead, they can now focus on strategic business growth aspects, such as product design and overseas marketing, to strengthen their market position.

Ahead of this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, over 300 million international goods from 87 countries and regions have been pre-stocked in China’s bonded warehouses, as well as B2B domestic and GFC (Global Fulfillment Centers) overseas warehouses in anticipation of surging demand from Chinese consumers. In Japan, Cainiao’s pre-stocking service has helped to drive 286 percent growth in the volume of Japanese goods that are exported to China, where close to 10 million items have already been shipped to China’s bonded warehouses in Shanghai, Ningbo, Hangzhou and Yiwu, since September.

This year, Cainiao also introduced smart order consolidation, a Cainiao proprietary AI technology that helps to consolidate numerous parcels from different merchants designated for one customer. The combination of multiple parcels into one package for shipment will bring about greater overall delivery efficiency. This will be applied in 50 countries and regions globally. With economies of scale, consumers can opt for a logistics upgrade to enjoy faster parcel deliveries – the more items the consumer purchases, the faster their deliveries.

“As we elevate our operations to enhance cross-border logistics efficiency and transparency, merchants can now reduce issues around customer dissatisfaction and shipping delays, which help to improve store ratings and revenue,” added Xiong.

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