Cainiao launches cargo container booking service

By Rachelle Harry

Aviastar-Tu's Tu-204C flying on behalf of Cainiao

Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, has launched a container booking service for air and seafreight, which includes compensation for missed departures.

As part of the service, Cainiao said container bookings will be confirmed in as fast as two business days after an order is placed by the Alibaba merchant.

This compares with the industry average of one week to a month, it said.

The firm added that if the initial booking confirmation is delayed, it will offer up to RMB100 ($15) compensation.

Another selling point of the booking service is that if a merchant’s cargo misses the departure time after booking due to Cainiao or its partner, they will be entitled to compensation of 10% of the airfreight shipping fee.

For ocean, they will be entitled to a compensation of RMB1,000 ($155) per container, or 20% of an international seafreight shipping fee — whichever is higher; or 50% of a near-seafreight shipping fee. 

While airfreight is mentioned, the service primarily appears to target the ocean shipping market, which is currently facing a container shortage crisis, causing cargo delays and disruption to supply chains.

Cainiao said the service enables users to book and manage the end-to-end logistics of shipments from more than 200 ports in 50 countries.

It also claimed that cross border port-to-port shipping fee would be 30-40% lower than the average market rate.

In China, the ports include those located in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Hangzhou and Yiwu.

James Zhao, general manager at Cainiao Global Supply Chain, commented: “In the face of the current global container shortage and surging shipping prices, Cainiao is committed to leveraging its technology and logistics ecosystem to provide a one-stop port-to-port shipping solution for exporters and importers.

“By working closely with airlines and cargo companies, we aim to safeguard the entire cross-border line haul network and instill greater stability into sea and air freight shipping.”

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