Royal Mail and Alibaba deal helps Chinese sellers ship to UK

No primary category set

Royal Mail and Alibaba are cooperating further to link Chinese exporters directly to UK online shoppers.

They already work together because Royal Mail have a shopfront on Alibaba’s Tmall. AliExpress, Alibaba Group’s global retail marketplace for consumers, will offer Chinese exporters new Royal Mail shipping solutions. Delivery will be within two weeks.

The press release says that both AliExpress merchants in China and online shoppers in the UK will benefit from the new shipping solutions. Upon purchase and selection of the Royal Mail delivery option, items will be airfreighted to the UK to enter Royal Mail’s network for quick and reliable delivery through its Tracked 48 or First Class services.

Royal Mail will also offer tracking information to merchants on the AliExpress platform by supplying 2D barcode labels for AliExpress shipments.

Richard Snowdon of Royal Mail says: “We are focused on our strategy of growing import and export volumes, and developing ecommerce solutions is an important part of that. Faster, secure, high quality delivery options are key, as parcel transit times and tracking visibility are important to international e-retailers and consumers alike. China is Royal Mail’s largest import country partner, and Royal Mail’s new service for AliExpress further complements this important strategic partnership.”

Joe Yan of Aliexpress adds: “Our mission is to make cross border trade enjoyable and hassle-free for the merchants and consumers that use our platform. By collaborating with Royal Mail, we are working with a trusted delivery partner in a very important market to improve the cross border shopping experience to the UK consumer.”

35 Responses

  1. It is already cheaper to post some parcels from China to the UK than it is to post the same parcel within the UK.
    For RM to encourage this seems like they’re laughing at their British customers for over paying for their services.

  2. Thanks for stabbing us in the back Royal Mail, when you put all the UK online merchants out of business enjoy delivering your 40p parcels from China.

  3. We’ve seen this coming for a while now. Chris can we get access to anyone from the Royal Mail to explain why it can be cheaper to send from China to the UK then from UK to UK? I’d really like to know how and why they’re delivering packets so cheaply?

  4. I dont know if anyone has read

    But id be willing to do a similar thing there.

    Whereby we share warehousing, staff costs etc.

    You will need to register your company however in Hong kong or Shanghai FTZ. There is 0 tax in Hong Kong for activity on exports.

    My business is more courier based, however if i had a strong partner/partners this is something i could get going quite easily and would want to partner up on. Company registeration is easy, its the other expense and logistics id like help pooling resources on, as well as management

  5. Perhaps it’s about time they removed the ‘Royal’ part of the name, as they’re certainly not acting with the interest of British businesses at heart.
    I wonder also, if Joe Yan would be willing to have a word in the ear of the Chinese government/postal service and ask them, in the interests of fairness within cross border trade, to allow uk sellers to have goods delivered to China for the same price as their sellers get it delivered to here ?

  6. It kills UK businesses, they already sell everything dead cheap. If ship something overseas it costs me a fortune. Thank you Royal Mail.

  7. Any guesses how many of the packets RM bring in for peanuts will have customs labels showing values over $10?

  8. Any guesses on how much VAT will pay those chinese sellers in UK? Or how HMRC will enforce the law in China? They are not able to deal properly with Amazon & eBay in UK, now imagine what a good job they will do with Alibaba..

  9. Interestingly, HMRC announced that they are closing some of their offices.

    I used to work for HMRC in the late 1980s and it was calculated at the time that each Tax Inspector brought in far more unpaid tax that they were paid (think it was a factor of 4 or so).

    Still, I now couldn’t get a job in HMRC as a specialist in the online economy, despite being a qualified accountant, because HMRC demand that all employees (including filing clerks) have a degree (and I never got one of those because I was born in the 1960s, and people of my age didn’t necessarily get degrees, despite myself having the equivalent of two degrees).

    Still, I’m sure there are plenty of willing 20 year old graduates with degrees in ‘golf course management’, or ‘forensic science’, in HMRC who are ready to tackle Chinese VAT evasion.

    Or not….

  10. .
    Hands up here, like many buy in China…..

    He is the problem, we sent some samples to a chinese supplier, the packet (international signed for @ £11.49p GBp) took 3 weeks to arrive in china, then another 2 weeks to get to the local provence. After this it disappaered for 2 weeks, then suddenly reappearesd only to be held for just 3 days by the chinese post system waiting for collection as they could not find the address in china, then to be ‘returned to sender, not called for’…

    We resent the anopther packet, that , well is in the postal service in the sky somewhere, says signed for, but the receving person says not teceived…

    By the way, the 1st packet STILL has not arrived back here….

    At over £22 (2x LL sized packets) RM and China post should be discussed with themselves, let alone the argument that is in this topic.

  11. So i ordered my fake cap from aliexpress



    It arrived today


    It came from Radius park, feltham, TW14 ONG.

    This must be royal mails new sorting office.

    The seller indicated the shipping service as

    Royal Mail Economy tracking LP0004311*******

    The package has a royal mail label on it with 2d barcode, as we are all going to be forced to use next year. The 6×4 ones. Its exactly the same.

    This label seems to have been applied manually in the UK.

    There is a CN22 label.

    There is a barcode with the original tracking number on the parcel at the base (Not where the new labels put recorded numbers)

    I have tried to track on the royal mail website, it is not working there maybe somewhere else this tracking is fed too for the seller to check directly.

    From what i paid for the product i suspect the cost for this service is around $2.50 to $3.25/ But i cannot be sure.

  12. So does anyone know a way to register as a Chinese seller with Royal Mail, get their post bulk delivered (either to Feltham or somewhere offshore like the Channel Islands) so Royal Mail can re-label it and deliver it to our customers with the same impressive tracking Chinese sellers get and for the same low, low price Chinese sellers pay ?

    Or perhaps our government would prefer to hammer the final nail into British manufacturing’s coffin while we get stuff drop-shipped from China because it’s now even cheaper than ever.

  13. Bad news. Many of us might as well pack up and admit defeat. Extremely low labour costs, no need to provide for staff pensions etc, false descriptions (e.g. “silver”, “designer” etc), no VAT & little other tax paid – and now very low shipping charges.


Stuart Hill Ex Matches COO on transitioning to logistics at DHL

Stuart Hill Ex Matches COO on transitioning to logistics at DHL

Tony Parker - Face of Alibaba Olympic Games Campaign

Tony Parker – Face of Olympic Games Campaign

Fjorda's Journey to Success in the Chinese market

Fjorda – Success in the Chinese ecommerce

Royal Mail domestic flights to be halved

Royal Mail domestic flights to be halved

Royal Mail Tracked now at Post Office branches nationwide

Royal Mail Tracked now at Post Office branches nationwide

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars