HONG KONG — To be sure, $14.3 billion of sales through Alibaba in one day deserves notice.
Indeed, Alibaba’s sales on last week’s Singles’ Day in China, which is now to the Middle Kingdom what Black Friday is to America, has air freight executives here wondering about whether e-commerce, and by extension express, will do in freight forwarders for good. That’s what happens when e-commerce grows around 40% in the last year, as it has in China, which dominates the broader Asia-Pacific economy and air freight market.
Indeed, this was the question that Kersti Krepp, vice president Asia Pacific, Polar Air Cargo, which is partially owned by DHL Express, raised today at the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference here during a session on air freight. Or, more specifically, “Are the freight forwarders completely going to lose their footing as e-commerce and to-door delivery continues to grow?”
Her answer: “I don’t think I have ever met a more nimble and creative group.”
See her full answer below.