即时配送市场新变革来临 饿了么蜂鸟即配全面开放 – Xinhua.net
What happened: Alibaba-backed Ele.me is opening up its short-distance logistics capabilities to more customers and industries. The company rebranded its Fengniao Delivery logistics arm to Fengniao Logistics and added a number of new service offerings, including inter-city express deliveries for groceries, flowers, and medication. More than 20,000 digital “instant delivery” warehousing and delivery centers will be established across the country in three years, according to Wang Lei, president of the life services platform. It will also establish an intelligent delivery system using artificial intelligence and big data technologies, he added.
Why it’s important: Ele.me’s delivery network expansion followed shortly after its major rival Meituan extended its logistics service beyond its core food delivery sector in May. Mounting salary costs for delivery fleets imposed a huge financial burden for the restaurant delivery giants which are entangled in an escalating rivalry. Diversifying businesses adds a revenue stream and makes better use of delivery driver downtime. In a similar move to improve the efficiency of its logistics capabilities, Chinese online retailer JD.com also widened its logistics services to more customers and industries in April.