Developing Cutting-Edge Technology that is Laying the Foundation for Cainiao’s Last Mile Logistics

How the pandemic spurred an earlier return to China but deepened her career path as a developer

As a fresh graduate, Jinjing has a unusually clear idea of what her career path would look like. “My specialization is big data and analytics and my plan is to pursue a career as a developer.”

Beyond that, Jinjing has kept her career options somewhat open. Having studied in France, her initial plan was to work for a couple of years overseas to acquire international experience and gain more exposure to overseas markets, before returning to China to advance her career.

However, the pandemic hit the world and she made the decision to return to China to be with her family.

“It was timely when I came across a recruitment campaign by Cainiao. Back then, my first interaction with the company was when I shopped on AliExpress in Europe.”

Digitalizing a Traditional Last Mile Logistics Ecosystem

Traditionally, last mile logistics has been a labor-intensive and highly manual sector within the industry space. But with the growing internet and smart phone penetration, coupled with the ongoing digital transformation that is taking place across the entire value chain, it has inevitably spurred a similar shift in last mile logistics.

Today, we have seen how courier deliveries and pick-ups in the last mile can be conveniently scheduled using a few clicks in-app, with the entire delivery process monitored in real-time. It has also diversified to include value-added lifestyle services to bring about greater convenience for end consumers such as the introduction of group buys and laundry services at community post stations.

The opportunities and service offerings possible are endless and boils down to what is commercially viable and matched against consumers’ demands and needs.

Here, Jinjing and her team of developers help last mile logistics players to maximize their business opportunities and in turn, their revenue, by optimizing the app and consumer-facing platforms, while helping to advise on products for group buys with the help of big data.

“My team helps to set up the B2B, B2C and B2S (supplier) channels via platforms such as WeChat, Taobao and Guoguo (Cainiao’s courier platform app) to facilitate group buys. Beyond the external facing platforms, we also have to establish a data resource and standard for data warehousing in order to adopt a more data-driven approach to group buy product strategy and carry out demand forecasts using data analytics.”

Modern-Day Developer Equipped with On-the-Ground Experience

Jinjing also understands that a developer needs to acquire actual on-the-ground experience in eCommerce and logistics in order to develop solutions that can solve real-life problems.

“Today, it is important to have an all-rounded technical experience. We need to gain a deeper insight into the challenges faced by our partners and customers such as Cainiao Post managers, group buy partners and supply chain businesses etc, so as to customize solutions and make their lives easier and better.”

“As someone who is fresh into the workforce, joining Cainiao, specifically working on last mile innovation projects, has enriched my professional experience across the broader consumer market. As Cainiao continues to work towards its goal of delivering within China in 24 hours and globally within 72 hours, this represents boundless opportunities for myself and all employees to stay at the forefront of the logistics evolution. I am excited to see what the future holds and the role that we play in this industry-wide transformation.”

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