Cainiao Boosting E-Commerce Shopping Festivals with Technology and Green Logistics Innovations

Cainiao Group
4 min readFeb 25, 2022

The pandemic has revealed vulnerabilities in the logistics and supply chain ecosystem, while at the same time, shed light on its fundamental and infrastructural importance to economic growth and trade flows. In 2020, the logistics sector grew by 27 percent, primarily led by the eCommerce boom during the pandemic. The last two years has seen accelerated technology and sustainability practices to align with consumer expectations, and this trend is here to stay.

The global supply chain disruptions and shipping delays have demanded for a more efficient and transparent supply chain, one that optimizes technology-enabled and sustainable practices to achieve a more inclusive and collaborative cross-border logistics network. Global eCommerce sale events such as the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival will serve as a litmus test, using technology to demonstrate the viability of a tenable co-existence and growth of eCommerce logistics and sustainability.

By continuously adopting new technologies and advancing our supply chain operations, we are working towards enhancing our resilient and agile networks to further mitigate logistical challenges.

Building a global smart logistics network

ECommerce logistics is experiencing a surge in customer demand, with an estimated 8.6 percent compound annual growth rate between 2020 and 2025. Smart logistics will play an increasingly pivotal role in allowing businesses to deliver cost-effective e-fulfillment while continuing to expand its reach to a global customer base.

Cainiao’s eHub in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

In this regard, Cainiao has established smart hubs near key transportations nodes such as international airports, ports and rail network, to create a seamless logistics network. These smart hubs serve as gateways into the respective regions to improve air freight stability. Goods could be moved directly to the hub to shorten overall processing and cross-border delivery time.

We also implemented smart order consolidation, a proprietary data intelligence technology that identifies various eCommerce purchases made by the same consumer and group them into a single package for cross-border shipping. This effectively leverages economies of scale to allow expedited shipping services without additional costs for consumers and merchants. Furthermore, all parcels are affixed with electronic shipping labels which offer full-chain real-time visibility to detect anomalies and allow quick response to minimize disruptions.

Green Logistics

Beyond operational efficiency enhancements and cost savings, technology also plays an instrumental role in fostering a greener ecosystem and the sustainable co-existence of logistics and eCommerce. By applying similar technological innovations that Cainiao has embraced for smart logistics, we can pave the way forward for sustainable logistics and supply chain management.

Cainiao adopts a highly nuanced approach to driving green logistics initiatives and applying technology innovation at various points of the value chain. For example, smart packaging algorithms allows us to sort products into right-sized boxes and minimize waste from overpacking for 12 million shipments during last year’s 11.11. We embraced eco-friendly packaging –nearly 100 percent of the packaging shipped from our warehouses were biodegradable, and close to 50 percent of the paper packaging were tape-free. During 2020’s Festival, our e-shipping labels saved the industry over 2.2 billion pieces of paper.

Cainiao’s zipper box which reduces the use plastic tape

With the precise and tailored implementation of green technology across the entire value chain, we expect to further reduce the carbon emission per order during large shopping festivals.

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Cainiao Group

The smart logistics arm of Alibaba Group. Follow us for content on smart logistics and supply chain management