Today Hangzhou-based Cainiao Network Technology Co., Ltd., the smart logistics subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, inked a strategic partnership with Singapore Airlines to leverage the airline’s network to expedite cross-border e-commerce deliveries.
The partnership represents one of a number of agreements between Singapore Airlines and Alibaba Group affiliates to cooperate on a number of areas, such as loyalty programs, ticket sales, payment processing and cloud services.
Although details of the partnership are slim, Singapore Airlines will play a role in helping Cainiao meet its objective of making point-to-point cross-border deliveries between any origin and destination within 72 hours. In June of this year, Cainiao reached a similar agreement with Dubai-based Emirates SkyCargo.
Apart from the carrier partnerships with Emirates and Singapore Airlines, Cainiao has announced plans to open six global logistics hubs near airports in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, “to meet the surging cross-border e-commerce needs.”
If China’s domestic express market is any sign of what is to come, cross-border e-commerce shipments are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. During the first half of this year, China’s domestic express delivery sector delivered 22.08 billion parcels, an increase of 27.5 percent, year-over-year, from the first half of 2017. International cross-border deliveries, which include parcels moving between mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong/Macau, grew even faster, up 43.1 percent, y-o-y, during the same period, to 520 million parcels, according to statistics from the China Express Association.