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Chinese couriers endeavor to develop overseas market

(People's Daily Online)    16:38, October 23, 2018

A plane of SF Express (Photo/

“To better serve this year’s Nov. 11 Global Shopping Festival, we will add over 40 chartered airplanes to the previous charter flights group, aiming to help consumers in our key overseas markets like Europe and Russia receive parcels within 15 days,” said an executive of Cainiao, the logistics network of China’s e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba.

Such plans make it easy to forget that before 2016, it took 60 days for a parcel to be delivered to a buyer in Russia.

In recent years, Chinese logistics companies have concentrated their efforts into developing international cargo air routes and building their own international airline transportation network.

China’s second largest courier, SF Express, now owns multiple international air routes which fly to 13 foreign cities, while its international logistics network for small packages covers more than 200 countries and regions across the globe, with its international express business bringing quality service to 53 countries and territories.

“Besides the airline logistics network, we have initiated an airline express hub project,” said an executive of China’s State Post Bureau, disclosing that China has already started some preliminary projects of the international logistics hub project in central China’s Hubei Province.

Upon completion, according to the executive, the Hubei International Logistics Hub is expected to be the world’s fourth, and Asia’s first, airline logistics hub.

In addition to the exploration of international air routes, China’s courier enterprises have also enhanced the building of their capabilities in international transportation.

SF Express has invested in the international air transportation and logistics service platform Flexport, while ZTO Express has established a joint venture in Hong Kong with Turkish Airlines and Fiji Airways to seek a market share in the global airline transportation service.

China’s YTO Express has united Chinese enterprises including China National Aviation Corporation, in the effort to invest 12 billion Hong Kong dollars (about $1.5 billion) to build a world-level logistics hub in Hong Kong International Airport.

YTO Express has also signed an investment agreement with Jiaxing City in east China, intending to invest 12.2 billion yuan (about $1.8 billion) to build a global aviation logistics hub in Jiaxing Airport.

To stay competitive on the international stage, China’s couriers have also explored ways to become stronger, by building an intelligent logistics network.

“In five years, we have shortened the duration of our B2B service from 70 days to 10 working days, and we hope to reduce it further to 5 days, and then 72 hours,” said Wan Lin, president of Cainiao.

Improvements in the efficiency of the international logistics network contribute considerably to this achievement.

Cainiao has united many express companies to provide across the globe services including package receiving, cargo storage, delivery and transfer, as well as supply chain, logistics solutions and technologically innovative services such as allocating orders with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).

Centered on its intelligent logistics network, Cainiao has materialized its service of guaranteed delivery within 10 days throughout the world's major cities.

Also, overseas warehouses are another secret behind the speedy delivery of Chinese parcels in foreign countries.

Thanks to three overseas warehouses in Madrid, Paris, and Moscow, Cainiao has managed to estimate intelligently and make arrangements in advance, leading to parcels being successfully delivered to recipients in Spain within 72 hours.

More than that, Chinese companies have helped local overseas logistics networks “transform."

“We started the comprehensive cooperation with Russian Post in 2013, and now Russian consumers receive their parcels from China in an average of 15 days, while three years ago it would take 60 days,” explained Wan.

According to the vice president of Russian Post, the company's daily handling capacity has increased from 30 million to 230 million packages, and China’s small and medium-sized enterprises brought almost all the increments through e-commerce. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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