(Yicai Global) June 7 -- The logistics arm under Alibaba Group Holding plans to build a HKD12-billion (USD1.5 billion) digital distribution hub at Hong Kong International, the world's busiest freight airport, as the e-commerce titan looks to expand its delivery network to include every home on the planet.
Cainiao Network Technology will lead a joint venture with China National Aviation and leading courier firm YTO Express Group, tech news portal TMTPost reported. The trio plans for the 380,000-square-meter center to process air cargo and sort orders using automated warehousing and temperature control solutions.
The move comes barely a week after Alibaba's Executive Chairman Jack Ma unveiled plans to splurge USD16 billion on a global logistics network that exploits technological advances to provide faster deliveries at lower costs, including 24-hour deliveries across China and 72-hour services worldwide.
"This network is not only national, but global," he said on May 31 at the 2018 Global Smart Logistics Summit in Hangzhou. Not including the new Hong Kong center, he pledged to build five distribution hubs in East and Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. His ultimate aim is to "connect every courier, connect every warehouse, every hub, every city and every house," offering.
The Hong Kong hub is pegged to enter operations in 2023 and become a world-leading logistics center, handling tens of millions of parcels ordered on cross-border e-commerce platforms. The base will bring high value-added goods to the airport and provide services to benefit the New Retail sector, which fuses online and offline shopping experienced with deep distribution networks.
Editor: James Boynton