Alibaba prepares for next wave of e-commerce with 100 billion yuan investment into smart logistics

Alibaba is preparing for the next wave of e-commerce by investing more than 100 billion yuan to build the technical backbone for a smart logistics network.

The network, which will be handled by its logistic subsidiary Cainiao Network, is aimed at improving delivery reach and efficiency, as well as driving down logistics costs for the e-commerce giant which handles around one million B2C parcels that go through customs clearance every day.

The investment was announced by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, at Cainiao’s 2018 Global Smart Logistics Summit in Hangzhou, where plans for a new state-of-the-art logistics complex that will house a smart warehouse, offices and shops, as well as new delivery technology that features facial ID recognition and apps that can read the temperature of packages were announced.

“We want to build this network to help the industry to meet the future needs,” said Ma. “Today, the industry can process 100 million packages a day. In the future, we will need to process one billion packages a day. The logistics industry need to get prepared for that with a robust infrastructure.”

Alibaba also announced plans to open five new global Cainiao hubs in Asia, Europe and Middle East to enhance its global logistics capabilities. Dubai, Hangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Liège (Belgium) and Moscow are among the first batch of cities being considered for building the global hubs.

It said the global hubs will provide enhanced logistics infrastructure on a larger scale and facilitate more inclusive trade for small businesses worldwide, enabling them to sell around the globe and delivering an enhanced consumer experience.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.