E-commerce behemoth, Alibaba, has announced it will expand its five-day delivery services to several new locations in Europe and East Asia.
Customers living in South Korea, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom will now receive their purchases within one business week, according to a recent statement from the company’s logistics arm, Cainiao. If successful, the start-up says it will expand into several other countries, as yet unnamed, according to local news media.
Cainiao, now led by former Alibaba senior executive and co-founder, Joe Tsai, is one of the fastest-growing logistics companies in China. The company is responsible for handling more than four million packages a day, as per financial data released by Alibaba in March 2023.
In the second quarter of 2023, Cainiao’s revenue grew by 34 per cent, reaching $3.2 billion, thanks in large part to newfound international and domestic demand for their services.
In June, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network and AliExpress initially disclosed their plans to introduce an international delivery service 30 per cent faster than its competitors at Cainiao’s yearly summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
In early August, the start-up revealed its ultra-fast, half-day delivery program would begin in several major Chinese population zones, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
The service was launched in collaboration with local business-to-consumer (B2C) supermarket, Tmall, which guarantees same-day deliveries before 9 pm, said the 59-year-old Yale graduate Tsai.
The speedy delivery service will expand to more international locations after its initial cross-border launch, reported the Alibaba-owned news publication, South China Morning Post.
Cainiao piloted the service in South Korea for several months, where orders on the AliExpress website reportedly surged by more than 100 per cent.
Now established for more than a decade, AliExpress has gradually expanded its presence into Asia and Europe. The most recent country is Spain, where it has been offering a nine-day delivery service since March.
Cainiao has found itself in an increasingly competitive industry, with the emergence of e-commerce retailers, including TikTok Shop, Temu and most notably, Shein, which gained a strong foothold in the US thanks to its aggressively low pricing.
It considers its new policy on ultra-fast, reliable delivery a distinct advantage that could distinguish it from the growing field of alternatives entering the market.
Cainiao aims to raise at least $1 billion from its initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in what would be the highest IPO in 2023 so far, said the South China Morning Post.