Couri­ers fol­low path to in­tel­li­gent de­liv­er­ies

China Daily (Canada) - - DEPTH - ByWANG YING in Shang­hai

China’s con­sumers and couri­ers are set to ben­e­fit from en­hanced ef­fi­ciency and ac­cu­racy of de­liv­er­ies dur­ing the Sin­gles Day sales pe­riod, with more than 70 per­cent of the or­ders ex­pected to be pro­cessed through big data in­tel­li­gent so­lu­tions.

Since Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd’s lo­gis­tics off­shoot Cainiao launched its big databacked smart so­lu­tion for fast de­liv­ery or­ders in 2015, the na­tion’s ma­jor lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies — in­clud­ing YTO Ex­press (Lo­gis­tics) Co Ltd, Yunda Ex­press (Shang­hai) Co Ltd, ZTOEx­press Inc andSTO Ex­press Ltd — have fol­lowed the trend to boost de­liv­ery ef­fi­cien­cies, said Wang Wen­bin, Cainiao’s chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer.

As the world’s big­gest lo­gis­tics data base, Cainiao plans to en­hance de­liv­ery ef­fi­ciency fur­ther through its data prod­ucts dur­ing peak days this year.

Wang Wen­bin said that com­pared with a tra­di­tional pack­age deal­ing sys­tem that is based on hu­man in­put, the smart op­er­at­ing prod­uct will au­to­mat­i­cally cre­ate the best de­liv­ery route, cut re­dun­dant pro­cesses, in­crease ef­fi­ciency by more than 50 per­cent, and cut an­nual costs by 80 mil­lion yuan ($11.8 mil­lion) for a courier com­pany with a daily pack­age de­liv­ery amount of 10 mil­lion parcels.

Mean­while, the ac­cu­racy rate for hu­man pack­age deal­ing stays at about 95 per­cent, which means there will be 500,000 pack­ages that might go astray among ev­ery 10 mil­lion, caus­ing 1 mil­lion yuan of losses in to­tal.

The smart so­lu­tion is based on an elec­tronic pack­age or­ders plat­form, which is a stan­dard­ized plat­form that was ini­ti­ated by Cainiao jointly with 14 ma­jor lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies in­May 2014. It aims at of­fer­ing both mer­chants and lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies a free ac­ces­si­ble plat­form to track the in-time sta­tus of a pack­age, ac­cord­ing to the Bei­jing Times.

In the next cou­ple of years, Yunda is look­ing to fur­ther pop­u­lar­ize its elec­tronic or­ders, aim­ing to in­crease ef­fi­ciency for its soar­ing pack­age de­mand, said Lai Shiqiang, oper­a­tions of Yunda.

Ac­cord­ing to Sara Gu, mar­ket­ing direc­tor of courier com­pany STO, as of Septem­ber, more than 75 per­cent or­ders by the courier were placed via elec­tronic means.

Eight years ago, Jack Ma, chair­man of China’s largest e-com­merce group Alibaba, made Nov 11 a fes­ti­val for sin­gle peo­ple, and soon the date evolved into an on­line shop­ping spree across the na­tion.

Last year, or­ders placed dur­ing the six-day Sin­gles Day shop­ping frenzy in­volved 780 mil­lion pack­ages, up 45 per­cent year-on-year, ac­cord­ing vi­cepres­i­dent to data col­lected by the State Post Bureau.

The China Ex­press As­so­ci­a­tion and Alibaba’s lo­gis­tics off­shoot Cainiao es­ti­mated the to­tal num­ber of pack­ages the courier in­dus­try is wait­ing to han­dle dur­ing the Sin­gles Day sales pe­riod this year will soar 35 per­cent to ex­ceed 1.05 bil­lion.

Up to 2.68 mil­lion peo­ple will par­tic­i­pate in Sin­gles Day de­liv­er­ies, in­creas­ing 50 per­cent from a year ear­lier, and the han­dling ca­pac­ity of ve­hi­cles and avi­a­tion will surge 59 per­cent and 40 per­cent, re­spec­tively, ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates.

There are about 60 mil­lion pack­ages de­liv­ered by couri­ers across China on a daily ba­sis, and Alibaba’s Jack Ma fore­cast the pack­age de­liv­ery amount will soar to 300 mil­lion per day in the com­ing decade, with the an­nual pack­age amount hit­ting 100 bil­lion across the na­tion.

The courier in­dus­try is one of the fastest-grow­ing sec­tors in China, and its an­nual growth rate sur­passed 50 per­cent for five years in a row, Xin­huanet.com re­ported.

“I be­lieve smart lo­gis­tics is key for fur­ther eco­nomic growth and glob­al­iza­tion,” saidMa dur­ing a global lo­gis­tics sum­mit in June.

PEI XIN / XINHUA

Work­ers sort pack­ages at a fa­cil­ity of Yunda Ex­press (Shang­hai) Co Ltd dur­ing last year’s Sin­gles Day shop­ping fes­ti­val in Shang­hai.

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