Cainiao Logistics, the logistics arm of China’s Alibaba Group has finalised its logistics arrangements – including chartering 51 aircraft – for this year’s 11 November Single’s Day, or 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, the largest online shopping event on the globe.
In preparation for this year’s event the logistics company has kicked off operations at its automated robot-equipped warehouse, employed smart technology, tapped Big Data, positioned 1,000 ocean containers full of goods in international markets and chartered over 50 aircraft to supplement some 150 aircraft already working with the company.
During this year’s 11.11 online event, which the company expects to exceed last year’s 812 million delivery orders worth USD 25.3 billion – more than two times the size of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined – Cainiao estimates more than 1.7 million delivery personnel, 400,000 vehicles, 5,000 warehouses and 200 aircraft will be deployed by its logistics partners to handle deliveries on the busiest day on the global shopping calendar.
Among the key domestic logistics partners are Deppon, ZTO Express, YTO Express, SF Express, STO Express, Best Express and Yunda Express, all of whom will be connected by cloud-based data sharing to speed delivery to millions of consumers around the world.
In order to enable its logistics partners to achieve higher efficiency and better logistics services, Cainiao has been developing and expanding logistics applications leveraging the company’s big-data technology and algorithm capabilities.
Key applications include an e-Waybill system that shares shipping information among delivery firms, customers and merchants; a digitised parcel sorting solution, which helps logistics workers to sort packages to optimal delivery routes, reducing errors and enhancing efficiency; and parcel forecasting applications to help delivery firms to scale up their facilities ahead of time.
This year’s 11.11 festival is shaping up to be the most international ever with more than 5,000 international brands from 25 countries joining the sale, selling directly to consumers in more than 200 countries and regions through Alibaba’s China and international marketplaces.
Cainiao Logistics, which has evolved to become as much an information platform as physical logistics player, connects and coordinates a network of more than 3,000 logistics partners in China and abroad, including delivery firms, warehouse operators and cross-border logistics companies.
Collectively these service providers operate more than 176,000 delivery stations across China. Cainiao has also established more than 300,000 pick-up stations where consumers can take delivery of online-ordered goods in more than 190 Chinese cities. In rural areas, Cainiao is working with regional last-mile delivery firms to ensure the logistical needs are met.
To facilitate international deliveries, Cainiao has launched Hassle-free Logistics Service enlisting the support of 49 cross-border delivery partners who have set up 16 dedicated cross-border delivery routes and 74 warehouses that can support four million package deliveries per day.
Cainiao has also made arrangements for faster customs clearance for cross-border packages via bonded warehouses while integrating logistics data sharing with China Customs in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Guangzhou.
Cainiao itself has spent much of the past year investing in both physical infrastructure and new technologies aimed at improving delivery efficiency and boosting fulfilment capacity. The company has expanded its bonded warehouse footprint by 80 per cent to more than 1.0 million sqm.
These warehouses are used to forward stock consolidations of imported goods so that items are in the country of destination when an online order is placed, to store goods as close as possible to customers and reduce delivery times.
Cainiao’s platform approach, through which thousands of independent logistics companies work together by sharing a uniform information network, helps speed deliveries for a wide range of products to Alibaba shoppers located across China and abroad.
The scalability of this network was demonstrated in last year’s 11.11 festival when Cainiao helped its partners coordinate the delivery of 278 million packages in the days after the annual sale event. That was nearly 10 times the average daily volume of 30 million package deliveries generated on Alibaba’s China retail marketplaces last year.