Although the curtain has dropped on the Singles’ Day shopping festival, for courier services and delivery workers in China, the real madness has just started.
To meet the surge of demand during annual shopping frenzy, e-commerce and logistics companies have cranked up parcel delivery efficiency and capacity.
Alibaba’s logistics affiliate Cainiao today announced that the first 100 million parcels generated during the shopping festival were delivered in 2.6 days, beating its record last year by nearly five hours. Cainiao said it processed 1 billion orders from the Double 11 shopping spree for the first time, significantly higher than last year’s 812 million.
In 2013, Cainiao handled 152 million parcels during the shopping extravaganza and it took 9 days to deliver the first 100 million parcels, Lin Wan, President of Cainiao, said in a press release. “With this pace of change,” Lin said, “We believe that the one billion parcels handled in this year’s 11.11 will become the daily average within the next decade.”
As Singles’ Day becomes more international, delivery efficiency and speed for not only domestic but also cross-border delivery become increasingly important. The company said it worked with customs to upgrade their systems and speed up customs clearance. This year, five million import parcels were processed through customs in less than five hours, faster last year’s eight hours.
Two weeks ahead of Singles’ Day, Cainiao opened the country’s largest robotic warehouse, which is located in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu. The unmanned warehouse, equipped with 700 robots, help save time for the parcel handling process, according to Cainiao.
The Chinese shopping holiday is becoming bigger each year. According to statistics from the State Post Bureau, around 1.35 billion delivery orders were placed by major e-commerce companies on Singles’ Day, a 25.12% increase from the same time last year. Postal services and express couriers across the country handled 416 million parcels on the shopping day, a record 25.68% year-over-year increase.