Barcelona, November 15, 2020.- Alibaba, together with Amazon, is one of the technological giants of electronic commerce, today and tomorrow. Its logistics innovations are of interest because they advance future processes in transportation and the supply chain. The Economist has published the following report on the logistics operator Alibaba.
The Economist: Demand forecasting is one of the main drivers of efficiency within Cainiao’s logistics network, especially during massive online retail events. Instead of stocking every purchasable item across more than 230 warehouses or shipping items out only after a confirmed purchase, the Alibaba logistics affiliate, Cainiao, engages machine learning and predictive analytics to pre-stock specific popular items days, or even weeks, in advance.
Multi-faceted big data from specific geographic locations, when combined with online interactions, can show purchasing behaviours based on time, events and conditions across different customer profiles and segments. These insights empower the merchants and help to predict what and how much goods to pre-stock in certain warehouses based on their proximity to the customers to further shave off delivery time.
This data-based predictive system leads to faster, more efficient inventory turnover and reduces shipping cost and time. Demand forecasting has proven to be accurate enough to work not just at the country level, but down to the province level in China as well.
Here on, Cainiao’s cross-border parcels are all managed by the Global Smart Delivery Platform (GSDP), a technology platform that integrates the entire value chain from merchants, warehousing and dispatch to international shipping and last-mile delivery partners and personnel.
Cainiao’s smart warehouses operate with unprecedented efficiency thanks to the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), which streamlines operations and enables automated guided vehicles (AGV) and staff to work together seamlessly. Each warehouse features about 500 AGVs that help to move parcels for warehouse employees, who then carry out relevant sorting and distribution.
These self-driving vehicles save warehouse staff about 50,000 footsteps each day, thus increasing efficiency by 30%. Each warehouse staff is also armed with an IoT-enabled device that tags, scans and tracks all incoming and outgoing items quickly—even the missing ones—throughout the warehouse in real time.
Each outgoing parcel is then affixed with an e-shipping label, which allows Cainiao’s network of over 3,000 logistics partners to accurately track millions of deliveries across the entire logistics value chain, from first and last mile to cross-border shipments.
In China, Cainiao has achieved a shipping accuracy of 99.9+%, which translates to US$100 million in cost savings annually. Cainiao has also partnered with 30 customs clearance facilities and adopted various digital customs clearance solutions to facilitate cross-border deliveries.
Lastly, a combination of IoT-enabled smart lockers, delivery robots and over three million couriers complete the final stretch of delivery. To receive their parcels, shoppers within China can either visit one of over 80,000 Cainiao Post stations or rely on autonomous delivery robots—all completely contactless.
However, where the human touch is required, Cainiao also works with more than three million courier personnel to facilitate doorstep deliveries. These courier personnel have access to Cainiao’s smart routing system, which charts the best delivery routes to reduce distance, cost and travel time, as well as to improve the accuracy of estimated delivery timings.
E-commerce is blurring geographical boundaries in our increasingly globalised world. This means that customers now have access to a wider range of goods than ever before. In the midst of the e-commerce boom, Cainiao, too, has evolved with the times.
Seven years after its founding, Cainiao now has the capacity to process more than 100 million parcels every day. In 2019, Cainiao processed nearly 1.3 billion orders during the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, with a global logistics network spanning 224 countries and regions.
With the steady rise of cross-border trade and e-commerce, Cainiao will continue to invest in technologies and drive digital transformation within the industry. The goal is to streamline the logistics value chain and deliver goods to its global customers within just 72 hours. Ultimately, “Delivering the world to you” will no longer be just a vision, but a reality soon to be made possible by a global smart logistics platform.
- TMS Transportation Software: “All companies work with management software”
- Are Driverless Truck the future of shipping?
- “All components of the supply chain technology ecosystem work together to improve the performance of the end-to-end supply chain…”
- How can iOT help supply chain management?
- The global supply chain pending the closure of Chinese ports by Covid in September
- The Logistics Technology Gap for Small and Midsized Shippers
- Autonomous Logistics
- “A quarter of executives and their companies are prepared to turn the current crisis into an opportunity with an intent to “accelerate” deal volume”
- ZLC: Ordering Behavior and the impact of Allocation Mechanisms in an Integrated Distribution Systems
- Risks to the security of food supply chains
- “Synchronization of Ocean Export Supply Chain”
- Europe is accelerating its embrace of climate and digital global leadership
- e- TMS AndSoft: Resource Allocation, Section Planning, Forms, VAT, IRPF, Route Planning, Itinerary Choice, PTV Integration, Rates, TrackAPP for truck drivers…
- AndSoft presents at SIL 2022 solutions for special transport ADR and oversized cargo￼
- Gartner: 7 top trends in cybersecurity for 2022
- The German Shipbuilding demanding Berlin and other European governments reduce their dependence on China for all things maritime
- “Supply chain management will continue to face disruptions in 2022 and as executives continue to prioritize digital transformation”
- Looking for 500,000 truck drivers in Europe
- “Digital transformation is revolutionizing global shipping”
- Shenzhen’s lockdown will only make supply chain issues worse
- AI’s ability to streamline so many supply chain and logistics functions is already delivering a competitive advantage for cutting shipping times and costs
- “It could take five years for UK ports to get back to pre-pandemic freight levels”
- The Biden Administration points to maritime transport to contain inflation
- Hyperloop: The utopia of transporting goods at 1,000 km/h
- “Almost three-quarters of customers (72.5%) say poor deliveries mean they will stop recommending the retailer”
- AndSoft Stand F81 at SITL Paris logistics fair from April 5 to 8
- Success Story: Drones to distribute fresh food in Australia
- Macro Economic Analysis on the consequences of the Russian invasion in Ukraine
- Interesting analysis: Top 10 supply chain strategies and trends
- “Shippers have broadened their definition of carrier capacity management to include new and effective ways to lessen the carrier capacity crunch”