Zhao Shuting, a resident of Changchun in northeast China’s Jilin Province, recently enjoyed a swift delivery experience during the “Double 11” online shopping festival on Alibaba’s Tmall platform. She received her order within half an hour of placing it on the festival’s first day, which lasted for approximately two weeks, generating excitement among shoppers. The question “Why is ‘Double 11’ delivery so fast?” quickly gained popularity on social media.
The remarkable efficiency of deliveries during “Double 11” can be attributed to innovative arrangements in the courier service sector. Online shopping’s pre-sale system, where customers pay a deposit before the festival begins, played a crucial role. Many parcels were pre-delivered to courier service outlets.
“After full payment, purchases could be delivered to consumers in surrounding communities within minutes, with most packages arriving within half a day,” explained Liu Yu, a courier station chief in Yuhang District, Hangzhou.
According to logistics industry expert Yang Daqing, this pre-sale approach significantly enhances the consumer experience and underscores the intelligent evolution of the industrial supply chain. Improvements in manufacturing, intelligent collaboration, and transportation infrastructure have collectively reduced delivery times.
One notable development is the launch of a smart logistics center by e-commerce giant JD.com in Gansu Province. Equipped with fully automated sorting capabilities, this 200,000-square-meter facility has the potential to increase efficiency three to fivefold.
“This year’s ‘Double 11’ introduced several new features, including the application of artificial intelligence, big data, and other technologies to enhance shopping convenience,” noted Liu Yingkui, vice president of the Academy of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, emphasizing that efficient logistics further stimulate consumption.
By midnight on Saturday, 402 brands on Tmall reported individual sales exceeding 100 million yuan, while JD.com revealed that over 60 brands surpassed 1 billion yuan in sales.
CONNECTING REMOTE REGIONS
Improvements in logistics capacity in rural areas have made it possible to swiftly deliver agricultural products from previously remote locations. Liang Qianjuan, the owner of an e-commerce company in Gansu’s Longnan city, used to travel to the county seat to send parcels, incurring high logistics costs and product spoilage during long-distance transportation.
Longnan has recently enhanced its rural logistics infrastructure, establishing a three-level logistics system with unified distribution centers at the county and district levels, township service stations, and village-level service points. As a result, typical delivery times in rural areas have been reduced from six or seven days to just two or three.
Liang is confident that she will achieve a new sales record in this year’s “Double 11,” especially with her new product, honey-glazed walnuts. Buying rural products online directly from their origins has become a widespread practice, with consumers seeking local specialties during the festival.
A SHARED CELEBRATION
The “Double 11” shopping festival, which originated in China in 2009, has grown into one of the world’s largest, attracting an increasing number of participating retailers and consumers worldwide. Even customers like Zaiceva Maria Yurievna in Moscow, Russia, have joined the celebration by purchasing items from China via cross-border e-commerce during “Double 11.”
“I had a coupon, and the purchases were one-third cheaper than usual,” she remarked. “My friends and I had a great time at the shopping festival.”
The rapid development of international logistics and cross-border e-commerce in China has transformed “Double 11” into a global event for overseas consumers. Zhang Fengyuan, general manager of Hunchun Changda Electronic Commerce Co., Ltd. in Jilin Province, reported processing more than 3 million parcels worth around 1.5 billion yuan from overseas buyers this year.
“Efficient logistics are crucial for consumer loyalty,” Zhang emphasized. In September, leading cross-border e-commerce logistics providers, Cainiao and AliExpress, introduced a “five-day global delivery” service in several countries, ensuring that consumers from these regions receive their orders from China within five working days.
Niu Zhijing, vice president of Cainiao, assured that despite the surge in “Double 11” orders, logistics efficiency would not be compromised. According to a report by the China Internet Network Information Center, cross-border e-commerce imports and exports have increased from less than one percent of total foreign trade five years ago to about five percent today, involving over 100,000 cross-border e-commerce entities.
In East Africa, Kilimall, a Kenyan e-commerce platform, has risen to prominence since its establishment in 2014. To reduce costs and enhance efficiency, Kilimall implemented an “African overseas warehouse” business model, allowing Chinese merchants to send their products to local warehouses before receiving orders from African consumers. This strategy resulted in an impressive next-day delivery rate of 82 percent and a successful delivery rate of 98 percent, making Kilimall the top e-commerce app in the region.
In conclusion, streamlined logistics and innovative approaches have propelled the “Double 11” shopping festival to new heights, connecting consumers across the globe and creating a shared celebration of online shopping.