Alibaba’s Cainiao to launch 5-day global delivery

Category: Operations
Alibaba's Cainiao to launch 5-day global delivery

Alibaba’s logistics business, Cainiao, has announced that it will be partnering AliExpress to launch an industry-first 5-day global delivery service offering. This is massive news, cutting best part of a week of the next fastest services, and part of their four business priorities for the year, which are:

  • Accelerating global express services
  • Deepening logistics capabilities in key overseas markets
  • upgrading domestic express services
  • Developing tiered domestic supply chain products

Most in the Western world won’t have been exposed to Cainiao, but think Amazon Logistics on steroids and you get some idea of their scale.

The next decade will unveil new development opportunities for smart logistics, and Cainiao will dedicate our efforts to building a leading global smart logistics network. This includes establishing three long-chain logistics networks encompassing domestic logistics, cross-border logistics, and overseas logistics, as well as creating three short-chain businesses in last mile post stations, logistics infrastructure, and logistics technology. The goal is to provide quality and competitive logistics services to our consumers, merchants, platforms, and logistics partners.

– Wan Lin, CEO, Cainiao

In the global express business, Cainiao will be setting a new industry benchmark with the launch of ‘5-Day Global Delivery’ service, which pledges to deliver cross-border parcels within five working days. This will be achieved through full-chain operational optimization and streamlining of workflows across first-mile pick-up, line haul, overseas distribution, and last mile delivery.

The 5-Day Global Delivery service will bring about an average of 30 percent uplift in delivery speed compared to the industry standard, bringing about greater efficiencies and cost effectiveness to better meet the needs of cross-border merchants and improve customer experiences.

To deepen its logistics capabilities in key overseas markets as part of its globalization push, Cainiao will focus on key logistics nodes in Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia, specifically with a target to establish one to two local warehousing and distribution centers each year.

The news of logistics nodes in Europe could also be interesting as Alibaba start to launch Tmall in Europe, with local brands selling to local consumers.. At some point, Alibaba will want to start controlling the Tmall delivery experience in Europe and a Cainiao logistics hub could be the springboard they need to manage fulfilment services.

A new self-operated premium express service, ‘Cainiao Express’, has also been announced, which features key offerings such as half-day delivery, doorstep delivery, and night-time pick-up to cater to market demands for a high-quality and differentiated express service. Additionally, Cainiao will prioritize the development of three-tiered supply chain products and services, namely ‘Half-Day Delivery’ for premium warehousing, ‘Next-Day Delivery’ for smart warehousing, and an economy shipping option.


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