Alibaba’s Cainiao Expands Reach in Singapore with GLS

Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao Network is teaming with Singaporean parcel delivery specials GLS ahead of popular 11.11 shopping festival

Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao Network is expanding its reach in Singapore through a new partnership with Grocery Logistics of Singapore (GLS). 

GLS is a unit of FairPrice Group Supply Chain - a wholly owned subsidiary of the NTUC FairPrice supermarket group - with specialisms in FMCG delivery and last-mile fulfilment, including bulky goods. The company offers a suite of logistics services, from warehousing and e-commerce fulfilment, to cold chain delivery and reverse logistics.

Cainiao will leverage those expertise in what it calls a ‘two-phase roll-out’, the first step of which will be to offer full-suite logistics services encompassing customs clearance through to last-male delivery for orders placed on Alibaba Group e-commerce sites Taobao and Tmall. Cainiao then intends to offer customs services for merchants outside the Alibaba ecosystem. 

Toh Hui Leng, Chief Operating Officer, Supply Chain Business, FairPrice Group said, "GLS has in place a digitised logistics ecosystem that utilises the latest supply chain technology and data analytics to meet the demands of e-commerce. Our partnership with Cainiao will bring about better cost-efficiency, productivity, and enhanced capabilities especially for last-mile delivery of bulky items – a logistical challenge for online platforms.”

Cainao Prepares for Alibaba’s 11.11 Shopping Festival 

Cainiao expects to increase its daily parcel handling capacity in the city-state to around 42 tons, or approximately 600 bulky items. Consumers will also benefit from speedy delivery, with parcels delivered within two working days after they’ve been cleared through customs. 

Alibaba Group will hope the increased capacity will support the growth of Taobao and Tmall in the city-state, and comes ahead of Alibaba’s annual 11.11 shopping festival on 11 November, an unofficial holiday considered the anti-Valentine’s Day, signified by the date’s repetition of the number one. The promotion generated $74.1bn in gross merchandise value across the Alibaba Group in 2020. 

Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network, said: “This partnership with GLS will allow us to expand and strengthen our logistics services in Singapore, with the enhanced ability to deliver bulky goods. There are many synergies that we can derive from this long-term partnership, and we are excited to embark on a phased roll-out of more customer-centric initiatives with GLS. This will contribute towards our goal of providing superior experience to better serve our customers.” 

The partnership with GLS is the latest move by Cainiao to expand beyond its domestic market. Recently it signed as an official logistics partner of Korea SMEs and Startups Agency (KOSME) to support exports by SMEs in South Korea. Under the agreement, SMEs will be able to access an export subsidy scheme, as well as benefit from Cainiao’s digital supply chain and e-commerce platforms. 


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