(Yicai Global) Nov. 10 -- Chinese logistics firm Cainiao Network Technology has benefited from a pandemic-induced surge in demand for cross-border e-commerce services, and the company has been showing off its latest logistics solutions at the China International Import Expo, which it attended for the first time.
Chinese consumers have been heading online instead of overseas to do their shopping, which has also created a need for improved efficiency in cross-border logistics, Hangzhou-based Cainiao told Yicai Global.
For the upcoming Double Eleven shopping carnival, Cainiao will stock up on goods in advance via local warehouses in China, to enable consumers in over 200 cities to get imported products on the same or the next day, it said.
Cainiao is using Big Data technology to develop intelligent sorting services. This is necessary for stocking up on goods in advance, a staff member disclosed, adding that it means allocating and transferring items between different bonded warehouses in advance according to where consumers are and the sales volume of individual items. Cainiao operates in more than 20 major bonded ports in China, enabling it to offer localized delivery services in various different cities.
The company’s import business also includes direct delivery from overseas regions. For this, it has enhanced the efficiency of parcel sorting through increased automation at overseas warehouses. For instance, Cainiao’s warehouses in Germany can automatically record information about parcel dimensions via weighing machines, improving efficiency by 50 percent, it said.
The pandemic has also created a lot of challenges for cross-border e-commerce, the staffer said. Surging demand has increased the pressure on international logistics, which has resulted in rising costs for merchants. Cainiao has tried to relieve this pressure by chartering planes and reserving slots in warehouses. Also, the use of bonded warehouses in different areas can hedge against the risk of sporadic Covid-19 outbreaks around China.
On Nov. 8, Cainiao’s smart logistics eHub at Liege Airport in Belgium was officially put into use. It is the company’s third eHub outside of the Chinese mainland after those in Hong Kong and Malaysia. It has an overall planned area of about 220,000 square meters.
While many businesses have suffered during the pandemic, turnover for China’s cross-border e-commerce sector rose 31 percent to CNY1.69 trillion (USD264.3 billion) in 2020. The figure is expected to increase to CNY2.5 trillion by 2025, based on the latest plan from China’s Ministry of Commerce. China is also set to become the leading global market for cross-border e-commerce transactions by then.
US-based e-commerce giant Amazon also took part in this year’s CIIE for the first time. The company will formally introduce Black Friday, the West’s online shopping festival, into the Chinese market via the CIIE. It aims to bring imported products from the US, the UK, Japan and Germany to Chinese consumers. The campaign will last until the end of this month, the company said.
Editor: Tom Litting