Strong domestic and overseas demand propels China's logistics system
By Fu Jiamei

In this year's Double 11 shopping festival, the total sales volume of Tmall and reached 889.4 billion yuan ($139.4 billion), with 4.776 billion packages delivered from November 1 to 11, including 696 million pieces registered on November 11 alone, according to data released by the State Post Bureau. 

Andy Zhu, deputy general manager of delivery company Best Global, said during the shopping season, the number of parcels the company handled was multiple times the normal average daily volume. "It's quite a stress test," he said. 

Stress test means opportunities

This year's sales period was expanded into a "shopping season" – from October 20 to November 11, with two sales windows – November 1-3 and November 11.

According to official data from Tmall, on November 1, the sales volume of automaker Wuling Hongguang in one minute exceeded that of the same day last year, and Apple sold more iPhones in four minutes than the sales on the same day last year.

The number of parcels on Double 11 also hit a record high. On November 11 alone, China Post announced that the number of packages delivered exceeded 60 million.

China's huge consumption power has driven the rapid development of its logistics industry. China's total logistics volume reached 300.1 trillion yuan by the end of 2020, up 3.5 percent on a yearly basis, according to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.

An increasing number of local logistics companies go abroad. /CFP

An increasing number of local logistics companies go abroad. /CFP

Booming overseas demand

According to the General Administration of Customs, the total value of China's foreign trade reached 18.07 trillion yuan in the first half of 2021, up 27.1 percent from the same period last year, with exports rising 28.1 percent to 9.85 trillion yuan. 

At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of global trade and shopping online, and the cross-border e-commerce industry has seen rapid growth.

Zhu pointed out that more and more Chinese brands, especially those MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) brands that are able to go global by opening a store on cross border ecommerce platform like Shopee and Amazon, can sell products to everywhere around the world as long as a third party logistics company can support that.

Thus, an increasing number of local logistics companies are expanding abroad to launch international logistics businesses, making international cargo aviation resources and efficient localization increasingly significant.

"Our 29 hubs strategically located in Southeast Asia and over 1,300 pickup/delivery stations have been working around the clock," Zhu said.

Zhu says Best Global is operating a warehouse network across the region, which enables Chinese brands to stock their products in advance and to fulfill their order locally with lower cost and shorter delivery lead time. "That is the way we are assisting Chinese brands going global," he added.

In addition, intelligence is driving the rapid development of logistics. Smart logistics mainly refers to the application of intelligent technology methods such as intelligent software and hardware, internet and big data, to realize the logistics network with visualization and systematization and an automated logistics system.

In 2020, the scale of China's intelligent logistics market reached nearly 600 billion yuan, and it is expected to exceed one trillion yuan by 2025. 

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