Alibaba’s Cainiao Unit Plans Data Platform to Help Boost Efficiency at Delivery Firms

Yicai

2016-12-09

(Yicai Global) Dec. 9 -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s [NYSE:BABA] logistics arm will start using deep data to help other logistics companies improve their operating efficiency.

Cainiao Network Technology Co. plans to build a data-driven, socially coordinated logistics platform, Chief Data Scientist Ding Hongwei said yesterday in a keynote speech at CBNData Fiesta 2016. Given that tens of millions of parcels are delivered by Chinese e-commerce firms every day, a platform-based business model is the only solution to improve the efficiency of logistics operations, he said.

Ding noted that through data analysis and applications, Cainiao delivered improvements in the efficiency of socially based logistics systems on three levels: information transparency across upstream and downstream; helping decision-makers to predict future trends; and automated time and location allocation of resources, allowing decision-makers to focus on creative work.

He said the company provided couriers with data specific to individual stores, enabling them to better prepare themselves for the peak season. Help was also offered to delivery staff in terms of optimizing routes through smart order sorting. The company also has been developing intelligent robots to automate delivery operations within closed environments.

Some 650 million orders were placed on Single's Day this year, up more than 200 million compared with last year, according to figures provided by Ding. But the average end-to-end delivery time was reduced by 15 hours, he said. Singles’ Day is China’s biggest annual online shopping event.