Cainiao pilots Singapore-China airfreight route amidst booming e-commerce

Cainiao will operate four weekly chartered flights between Singapore and Hangzhou to meet the soaring e-commerce demand.

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Cainiao Smart Logistics Network is set to operate four weekly chartered flights between Singapore and Hangzhou, marking its maiden Singapore-China air freight route, in line with the company’s commitment to deliver globally within 72 hours, a press release confirmed. 

Cainiao says the new route was established to provide more stability in air freight given the lack of air transport amidst the pandemic. The Chinese logistics company is expecting increased cross-border e-commerce activity leading to Alibaba’s Double 11 event, which is widely considered a shopping holiday. 

With the recent pandemic outbreak accelerating online consumption and altered consumer behaviour, a recent study by Bain on the growth of digital consumer behaviour in six Southeast Asian countries in the first six months of 2020 revealed that whilst 47 percent of consumers decreased offline purchases, 30 percent increased their online spending. 

“With the eCommerce boom in Southeast Asia, we are ramping up our infrastructure in the region to better serve as the key logistics platform to fuel its continued growth. The introduction of chartered flights between China and the region, overseas warehouses and other infrastructure will help to create a more seamless and cost-effective logistics solution for eCommerce merchants, which in turn delivers more cost savings, greater convenience and a better experience for consumers,” notes James Zhao, General Manager, Global Supply Chain, Cainiao Network. 

Before the pandemic, Southeast Asia’s e-commerce sector grew a whopping 600 percent to US$38 billion in 2019 from US$5.5 billion in 2015, and is expected to exceed US$150 billion by 2025, according to a 2019 report by Google, Temasek and Bain. 

Cainiao says the new route will pave the way for the development of value-added services to improve customer experience and will open doors for e-commerce merchants in the region to reach the wider Chinese market. The operation of the direct flights is in partnership with DJY Express, a spokesperson told Payload Asia.

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