Alibaba wants to digitize Chinese logistics

Cainiao Smart Logistics Network wants to speed up the digitization of China’s shipping industry

Alibaba wants to digitize Chinese logistics. Source:

Cainiao Smart Logistics Network wants to speed up the digitization of China’s shipping industry and work with industry partners to create RMB 50 billion ($7.25 billion) in value for the industry over the next three years, the Alibaba Group affiliate said yesterday.

The plan is to roll out advanced technologies and services, such as a newly developed Internet of Things platform, across the country to enable that digitization, Cainiao said. The platform allows partners and developers to share information and establish standard protocols to help logistics firms deploy IoT solutions at scale. Cainiao aims to connect 100 million smart devices to its IoT technologies in three years, including its connected devices, warehouse and delivery robots and algorithm-backed management systems.

The improvement of consumer services is also a critical part of its RMB 50 billion goal. Cainiao wants to leverage its package-tracking and shipping-services app, “Cainiao Guoguo,” to enhance the ordering and delivery experience. The app allows consumers to automatically fill out shipping details and track parcels in real-time on their smartphones. They can also book package pickups for shipping, with couriers, on average, arriving in an hour.

Cainiao Guoguo benefits couriers, too, sending them alerts when consumers near them process shipping requests. The more orders the couriers deliver, the more commission they earn from express-shipping companies. And the easier it is for consumers to send and receive goods, the more likely it is that these companies will see an uptick in business, Cainiao said.

Warehouse technology showcased at the summit. Cainiao develops technologies to more-efficiently connect orders with equipment and workers, such as warehouse and delivery robots powered by image-recognition, near-field sensing or acoustic-photoelectric systems.

By further enhancing our consumer services, last-mile and IoT technologies and capabilities, we hope to help China’s logistics sector to deliver on a larger scale while reducing costs and impact on the environment,” he added. “This will not only benefit the logistics industry, but also offer an enhanced customer experience
Wan Lin, president of Cainiao

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