ASIA. Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (Cainiao Network), Alibaba’s logistics arm, today revealed a series of consumer-centric logistics upgrades to further improve the experience of customers in Singapore and Malaysia in the lead-up to Alibaba’s annual Tmall 618 Mid-Year Shopping Festival.

Sales for the blockbuster shopping event started on 1 June and culminate in the grand finale sale from today, 16 June, to 20 June. The event is also known as Taobao 618 GSS in Singapore and Taobao Mid-Year Sale in Malaysia.

Tmall 618: The grand finale starts today

The logistics upgrade for Singapore and Malaysian consumers is broadly segmented into four key areas, each focusing on a specific customer need:

  • Real-time customer service support
  • Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits
  • Greater air and sea shipping stability with daily freight connections
  • Compensation for lost or damaged packages

Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp communication channel for customers in Singapore and Malaysia to receive timely logistics update and facilitate enquiries.

This service was introduced based on feedback from regular customer surveys which reflected the demand for real-time communication via their preferred platforms.

In view of what it described as a recent global bottleneck in sea shipping, Cainiao has also expanded the parcel size and weight limits for air freight up to 30 kilograms or 1 meter long, 1.6 meters wide for Singapore and Malaysian customers, to better accommodate larger consumer items such as furniture.

This move is designed to provide an alternative and faster shipping option for customers in view of the surging demand for big-ticket items. In parallel, sea and air freight frequency will be almost doubled to seven times weekly (from the previous three to four per week) to maintain delivery efficiency, with capacity of 15 tonnes per flight and 10 shipping containers per sea freight.

Additionally, to provide Singapore and Malaysian customers with peace of mind, Cainiao will be providing compensation up to RMB2,000 (US$311) for lost and damaged packages based on the product value.

“We have always placed our customers at the heart of the business and the focal point for our logistics innovation and service offerings,” said Cainiao Network Head of Cross-Border, Singapore Chris Fan.

“This series of customer-centric logistics upgrade reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience, while mitigating challenges posed by external factors. By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers.”

This news comes after a series of logistics network expansion by Cainiao in the region last year, including partnerships with BEST Inc. and Yunda in Malaysia, and Singapore Post, BEST Inc, Roadbull and Park & Parcel in Singapore to expand the last mile network in Singapore and the operation of Cainiao Aeropolis eWTP Hub in Kuala Lumpur to facilitate cross-border shipments in Southeast Asia.

[Note: Cross-border ecommerce and logistics stories now enjoy their own archive on The Moodie Davitt]