Alibaba founder Jack Ma has outlined the Chinese e-commerce giant’s ambitious plans to invest billions of dollars in a smart logistics network spanning the globe as it seeks to dramatically improve its reach and efficiency and drive down costs.
As reported by TechNode, Alibaba’s logistics affiliate Cainiao Network plans to invest at least RMB 100 billion ($20 billion) to eventually be able to provide single-day delivery across China and 72-hour delivery to the rest of the world.
“We will increase the investment to several hundreds of billions RMB if that’s not enough,” Ma told Cainiao’s recent Global Smart Logistics Summit.
“Alibaba will bet a vast majority of our resources on it because we believe a better logistics infrastructure network could bring fundamental changes to the manufacturing industry”.
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In an article published on Alibaba’s Alizila portal, Ma said the goal is to “connect every courier, connect every warehouse, every hub, every city and every house”.
“If we can use data to solve the problem of low transport efficiency and high logistics costs, we can create huge profit margins for the manufacturing industry and logistics sector,” he said.
“I think this is what Cainiao and our logistics industry should do for the country.”
Ma observed that e-commerce is now responsible for 130 million parcels delivered per day in China, but said Alibaba needs to be prepared for future growth.
“We have to think clearly today,” he said.
“We must understand what infrastructure is needed to support 1 billion parcels a day.
“We can’t avoid the future. World trade will change because of logistics. Global trade will go from containers to packages, from trading between countries to trading between companies. All this change, we should be ready to prepare and fight today.”
Alibaba has increasingly been paying attention to the Australian market in recent years, opening its Melbourne headquarters in February 2017 with a pledge to support Australian and New Zealand SMEs that sell their products into China via the retailers’ TMall platform. In May this year, Alibaba revealed plans to commence a pilot run of its new blockchain traceability system with two Australian brands.