Cainiao reveals plans for five global logistics hubs

Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao has selected five cities to become its global hubs, with Hangzhou, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Liege and Moscow the chosen locations.
According to the Alizila news network, which is also controlled by Alibaba, the e-commerce giant revealed to the Global Smart Logistics Summit its strategy to create more efficient logistics operations and offer single-day delivery in China and 72-hour delivery across the globe.
This includes the establishment of the five hubs and also investment in smart logistics.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma said the company will invest $15.6bn in data driven smart logistics to push delivery costs down to less than 5% of China’s GDP. He did not reveal a time frame for the investments.
“If we can use data to solve the problem of low transport efficiency and high logistics costs, we can create huge profit margins for the manufacturing industry and logistics sector. I think this is what Cainiao and our logistics industry should do for the country,” Ma was quoted as saying by Alizila.
“We have to think clearly today. We must understand what infrastructure is needed to support 1 billion parcels a day,” Ma said. “We can’t avoid the future. World trade will change because of logistics. Global trade will go from containers to packages, from trading between countries to trading between companies. All this change, we should be ready to prepare and fight today.”
Liege Airport said it is already handling e-commerce shipments from the Cainiao network but establishing the hub will increase those volumes and result in more flights between Asia and Liege Airport.
Luc Partoune, chief executive of Liege Airport, said: “Cainiao has chosen our airport for its flexibility, the quality of its services, its advantages consisting of its ideal localisation in Europe, the fact that it is open 24/7 and its connectivity with the other continents”.
“The e-commerce strategy in air cargo will truly revolutionise air transport and logistics processing.
“The digitisation of operations, their monitoring and robotisation are profoundly changing our businesses. Liege Airport is destined to become the cargo airport of the future and the partnership with Cainiao will contribute to this.”
This new partnership between a major logistics company and Liege Airport will integrate local SMEs and promote their exports via e-commerce, the airport added.
Cainiao did not reveal more details on their global hub expansion plan, but said more details would be announced at a later stage.
According to Alizila, Cainiao also revealed a smart warehouse project, which aims to reduce reliance on manual labour and digitize facilities through the Internet of Things, big data, edge computing and artificial intelligence.
A 160,000 sq m complex in Wuxi will be the first Cainiao Future Park project.  
Cainiao and Alibaba also this week revealed they would invest $1.4bn in courier ZTO Express in exchange for a 10% stake in the company.
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