Ben Thomas

Ben Thomas

Director, National Valuation

t: +44 207 182 2663 Ben.Thomas@cbre.com

Judy Zhu

Judy Zhu

Associate Director, National Valuation

t: +44 207 182 2683 Judy.Zhu@cbre.com

In China, Singles’ Day (11th November) is an annual shopping festival, like Black Friday and Boxing Day in the western world. Alibaba has successfully turned this day, which is a celebration of being single, into the world’s biggest online shopping event.
2018 Singles’ Day was a milestone for Alibaba, as it was the first time single-day package volumes surpassed the 1-billion benchmark. This blog post is going to look at the numbers, which in turn reflects the logistics network working behind the scenes of this shopping fiesta.

 

2018 Singles’ Day
Singles’ Day Sales and Packages Volume from 2009 to 2018

Singles’ Day Sales and Packages Volume from 2009 to 2018

2018 Singles’ Day Sales by Time of the Day and Comparison to Previous Years

2018 Singles’ Day Sales by Time of the Day and Comparison to Previous Years

Click to expand                            (source: www.alizila.com, wallstreetcn.com)

The total sales of 2018 Singles’ Day was CN¥213.5 billion, which is £23.6 billion or US$30.7 billion. By Comparison, in the UK, the one-day total sales of 2017 Black Friday was £1.4 billion and 2017 Boxing Day was £4.5 billion (source: BBC, Daily Mail).

In the US, 2017 Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined sales was US$19.6 billion, where US$14.5 billion was online (source: Practical Ecommerce)

The Logistics Network

Alibaba, not only as a platform for retailers but also for logistics partners, was able to cope with this large volume of packages mainly thanks to its own logistics data network, called Cainiao (means “Rookie”). Cainiao was established in 2013 by Alibaba to assist its retailer clients provide better delivery experience to their customers.

Cainiao is a large network of 3PL partners, drivers and warehouses, which expands to the most remote areas in China and beyond the border to rest of the world. However, what really empowers the network is not the physical network, but the enormous data it captures in the network. It uses big data to predict product stocks, plan driving routes, create package sorting solutions etc. Without all the elements of Cainiao working together, Alibaba would be unable to meet its Singles Day delivery commitments.

About Cainiao Network (by 31st December 2017)

About Cainiao Network (by 31st December 2017)

Click to expand

Summary

The Chinese economy is evolving from export-focused to consumer-focused. Previously China leveraged the large population as a source of manufacturing labour to support the export economy. Now China is turning this resource into an advantage again, as a source of generating demand and pumping up the consumer economy. Alibaba, together with many other technology businesses, has seized the opportunity to grow its own business as well as contributing to push the transition forward.


If you are interested in more details of this report or our other logistics reports, please contact Ben Thomas, Director of CBRE National Valuation – Logistics & Distribution, or Judy Zhu, Associate Director of CBRE National Valuation.

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