Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.
XPO Logistics Completes Spin Off of GXO Logistics
XPO Logistics has completed its spin-off of GXO Logistics, creating two independent public companies.
GXO Logistics today marked the occasion by ringing the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange. GXO leadership and board members were in Manhattan to mark the “exciting milestone in GXO’s history”, opening Wall Street and celebrating the business’s first day of regular way trading.
“We consider it a privilege to launch GXO as a new company at the top of the industry — the world’s largest pure-play logistics provider,” said chief executive Malcolm Wilson, in a statement. “We have a powerful platform for future growth, including our culture of innovation, strong customer relationships, seasoned leaders and a world-class team. This is day one of unlocking vast new potential for our company.”
GXO Logistics in Brief
- CEO: Malcolm Wilson (formerly CEO, XPO Logistics Europe)
- Employees: 94,000 approx.
- Warehouse capacity: 208m sq.ft
- Key customers: Apple, Nike, Whirlpool, Nestlé
XPO’s Pure-Play Strategy
XPO Logistics announced plans to spin off its logistics division in December 2020, with the intention of creating two pure-play entities focussed on contract logistics (GXO) and freight transportation (XPO).
In an interview last month, GXO Chief Investment Officer Mark Manduca said there is “massive scope” for growth both organically and through M&A activity. "A deep pool of potential new business exists for GXO, both through share gain and penetration,” he added, explaining that companies are increasingly looking to outsource logistics as supply chains become ever complicated.
GXO is a leader in logistics automation and robotics, leveraging AI and machine learning to ‘turn logistics into a competitive advantage’ for its customers. It has approximately 94,000 employees, and counts Apple, Nike and Whirlpool among its blue chip customers. The company says it will also look to strengthen its presence in other high-growth areas, primarily ecommerce, apparel, technology, food and beverage, and consumer electronics. The company has 208m+ sq.ft of warehouse space across 869 locations in 27 countries.