Last year’s Singles’ Day shopping festival saw a total of 467 million orders completed – on Alibaba’s platforms alone. This year, Chinese delivery services are expected to handle over one billion parcels in one week, with 2.68 million deliverymen manning the front lines, according to predictions from the China Express Association and Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainiao.
Can logistics companies handle all those parcels?
Chinese logistics company have integrated digital order management at a very fine level. Efficiency can be ensured with computers, with automated sorting systems that can deal with 20,000 parcels per hour at exchange and clearing sport – its a sight to behold folks. Systems using bar codes recognize parcels and sort them out in an effective and efficient way. Replacing as many as 480 workers on a line, said the deputy director of Yunda Express Lai Shiqiang.
Wang Yong, executive director of Yuantong Delivery, one of the grass root delivery companies, said that this year, with data available, they will monitor the overall delivery network to reduce the likelihood of overstocking any dispatching center with too many parcels to handle. Delivery companies in an effort to become part of some ecosystems also integrate heir business deep into other services and platforms, including various industries, with retail being the number one point of business.
Delivery companies compete with each other by ifffering delivery time, price and guarantee scales that allow for at checkout having to choose which provider you’d opt for delivery. Loyalty offers are used to woo stickiness and for that matter will be used by many singles in redeeming their deliveries across the country. Additionally using big data, they’re able to offer realtime visibility on item tracking throughout the delivery journey, thus providing a form of assurance to senders and receivers. Goods routing to collection or hub points leverage same big data to detect service levels offered to a consumer and best sorting station to use.
In the past, orders were dealt with in a chronological order, that is, an order completed earlier is handled earlier. However, now with big data and cloud computing, orders can be distributed based on their destinations. Intelligent distribution starts right after an order is placed and this creates a set of extensive KPIs that are used to manage deliver cycles.
So, in this year, we expect a new benchmark to be set with singles day deliveries. Every year brings its challenges, but more so is the learnings of each years experienece which goes into implementing new Automation’s systems, performance indicators and systems of records that help providing users of delivery services, a more intimate and personalized experienece of delivery services. Once more China demonstrates effective use of digital technologies to manage resources for a single territory with over 1.5billion people. Such a showcase presents its own challenges and also opportunities. And yet, the market is still growing!