Alibaba logistics affiliate launches three fresh food distribution centres in China
Cainiao, the logistics affiliate of Alibaba Group has announced today the establishment of three fresh food distribution centres in three major Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The three centres are expected to support cold chain delivery of fresh food purchased on Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com to the doorsteps of Chinese consumers within 24 hours.
Cainiao's cold chain delivery service currently reaches 18 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen. By the end of 2015, Cainiao plans to expand this service to 50 major Chinese cities. To fulfill the varying needs of customers, the three new distribution centers also support on-demand delivery services, including delivery on specific dates and times, and night delivery.
Maggie Chen, Head of the fresh food delivery team of Cainiao "The cold supply chain in China normally serves the business-to-business market, however, with the rising popularity of consumer e-commerce, we believe efficient cold chain delivery in the business-to-consumer segment is sorely needed as we aim to give our consumers the freshest possible result.
“The company will invest more and work closely with our partners to strengthen the cold chain network across China."
Driven by their growing disposable income and healthier eating habits, an increasing number of Chinese consumers are seeking out better quality, freshness and convenience when they shop for food. The demand for quality food has fuelled recent growth in online food retailing, which in turn is driving the development of cold chain logistics to serve China's online population of 618 million.
To meet with the rising demand from Chinese consumers, Cainiao has joined hands with its partners to establish cold chain infrastructure and techniques to operate and manage refrigerated warehouses, equipment and packaging to ensure the quality of perishables, such as meat and produce, upon delivery.
According to Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, China's cold chain logistics industry is growing 25 percent a year and will reach RMB470 billion in scale by 2017. Cainiao, a consortium of logistics companies operating a network of warehouses and delivery services, is working with several partners to improve cold chain infrastructure, efficiency and service quality.
Cainiao (formerly known as China Smart Logistics), the logistics affiliate of Alibaba Group, is dedicated to meeting the current and future logistics demands of China's online and mobile commerce sector. It operates a logistics information platform which provides real-time access to information for both buyers and sellers, as well as information that allows delivery service providers to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their services.
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.