(Yicai Global) Nov. 5 -- A Boeing 747-400F cargo plane fully loaded with Chinese goods flew to Belgium's Liege Airport from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport on Nov. 3, marking the official start of another intercontinental e-commerce route of Alibaba's express unit Cainiao. The route will serve the upcoming Tmall Double-11 shopping festival on Nov. 11.
Tmall is the cross-border e-commerce business-to-consumer retail platform of Alibaba Group Holding. It sucked in CNY168.3 billion (USD25.31 billion) last Nov. 11 on China's Black Friday-style Double 11 or Single's Day online shopping fest, Yicai Global reported at the time.
Cainiao's partner Sinotrans Air Transportation Development, a unit of Beijing-based state-backed Sinotrans Limited, will operate this Western-Europe route with planes chartered from France's ASL Airlines. It is another such regular chartered e-commerce flight the express company has inaugurated after its Hangzhou-Moscow route. Two flights will leave each week with a load capacity of more than 200 tons.
Europe is one of the largest destinations for Chinese e-commerce exports. Unlike common charter flights, e-commerce packages come in large quantities, but small sizes, which imposes strict requirements for timeliness and differences in the means of customs clearance. Logistical efficiency is greatly reduced if these packages are transported by regular charter flights mixed with other goods.
Cainiao previously instituted various intercontinental e-commerce routes to help small and mid-sized companies connect the two major markets of China and Europe. Chinese SMEs alone send nearly 1,000 tons of packages to Europe and Russia every week.
Cainiao has linked up with 106 air routes worldwide, with an average of 225 flights per day. With the coming of Tmall Double-11 next week, the express company will ply the four routes of Hangzhou-Moscow, Hanghzou-Liege, Hong Kong-Moscow and Zhengzhou-Riga. Fifty chartered flights will further shorten the global delivery time for packages.
Editor: Ben Armour