Cainiao, the logistics arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has partnered with yet another cargo carrier – Dubai-based Emirates SkyCargo – as it continues the expansion of its international logistics network to add another six global hubs in cities around the world.
On June 6, the company announced that it will invest $1.5 billion to build out a logistics hub at Hong Kong International Airport. The week before, Cainiao revealed Liège Airport as one of its new hub locations.
Dubai is the newest addition to Cainiao’s ever-evolving world presence and home of Emirates SkyCargo, which holds a network of 155 international destinations and a fleet of 267 widebody aircraft, including 14 freighters.
“As a key gateway that links Asia and Europe, Dubai is well positioned to help us achieve our goal of 72-hour global delivery,” said Xiaodong Guan, general manager of global business at Cainiao. “We have a strong commitment to Dubai and the neighboring markets. This fits well with our broader strategy.”
The airline is moving forward with plans to capture the heightened airfreight demand with network expansions and increasing flight frequencies. In the last week, SkyCargo added two new routes out of its Dubai hub, to the United Kingdom and Angola in southwestern Africa.
Retail giants like Alibaba and JD.com are leading the way in capitalizing on this boom, but it’s yet to be seen how members of the supply chain will keep up, with labor limitations, including global truck driver and airline pilot shortages that have the potential to limit growth. Between network expansion announcements, last week, the airline announced a recruitment tour through the United States to search for qualified commercial pilots willing to work out of its Dubai hub.
Further details of the new partnership will be “announced progressively as they are developed” by the two parties, Emirates SkyCargo added.
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