Cainiao and 4PX open intelligent logistics park for ecommerce
Cainiao and 4PX open intelligent logistics centre
Celebrations at official launch of the Cainiao/4PX intelligent logistics park. (Credit: 4PX)

Cainiao and 4PX open intelligent logistics park for ecommerce

Alibaba’s Cainiao and 4PX claim new intelligent logistics park is smartest in China. 

There’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but when it comes to bumper days for online shopping, 11.11 dwarfs them both.

November 11 is celebrated in China as ‘Singles’ Day’, on which both lonely hearts and the happily independent are encouraged to treat themselves to an ecommerce bargain in the 11.11 shopping spree, as a kind of antidote to Valentine’s Day.

This year’s 11.11 was a bonanza for Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, which raked in over $25 billion (or just over £19 billion) in sales in 24 hours – a staggering haul that was up around 39 percent on the previous year’s total.

Read more: Ecommerce giant Alibaba opens ‘China’s smartest warehouse’

Intelligent logistics park

From a supply chain perspective, Cainiao (the logistics arm majority-owned by Alibaba) was ready to take the strain of that surge in orders, having recently opened a new ‘intelligent logistics park’ in Dongguan, Guandong province.

The logistics park’s primary purpose is to serve as a countrywide consolidation center for Alibaba’s Aliexpress and Taobao/Tmall international businesses. Launched in partnership with supply chain services, technology and consulting business 4PX, it is designed to handle an annual throughput of 100,000 tons of parcels and support more than 500 billion RMB (about £57 billion) in annual cross-border e-commerce sales.

Executives at 4PX claim it’s China’s most intelligent cross-border e-commerce package processing centre. With a total area of 21,000 square metres, it is packed with smart, connected machinery.

This includes automatic weighing and sorting lines and telescopic conveyor belts, all connected and coordinated through core systems developed in-house by 4PX’s 300-strong IT team.

Read more: Alibaba showcases vision of ‘retail store of the future’

Controlling stake

In September, Alibaba acquired a controlling stake in Cainiao and announced its intention to invest the equivalent of around $15 billion in its global logistical capabilities over the next five years. Cainiao currently executes some 57 million deliveries a day.

China-based Alibaba has acquired a controlling stake in logistics company Cainiao, upping its share to 51 percent (from 47 percent previously). The e-retailer giant has further announced an intention to invest 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) in its global logistical capabilities over the next five years.

“By enhancing the logistics capabilities within the Alibaba ecosystem and extending our investment in this sector, we are further enabling our New Retail strategy to bring online and offline retail into one seamless experience for shoppers,” said Daniel Zhang, chief executive of Alibaba Group.

Read more: DHL trials smart warehouses in three European locations