Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, has partnered with Yunda Express, a Shanghai-based express delivery company to firm up its last-mile delivery efficiency in Malaysia.
In a statement, Cainiao said the tandem will also help drive the digitalization of last-mile logistics in the area sorting and distribution via a comprehensive network of collection stations.
500 collection points by 2022
There will be over 100 collection stations strategically located near communities and business districts across the country, with plans to expand to 500 stations to include West Malaysia by 2022, it added.
"This will boost the total daily parcel handling capacity to about 100,000. For added convenience, these stations will operate six days a week from Monday to Saturday, with longer operating hours from 10 am to 6 pm," it added.
Cainiao said the collection stations will cater to customers’ diversified needs for pick-ups and drop-offs, and facilitate self-pickups within 24 hours for local e-Commerce parcels.
It said merchants can also tap on Yunda’s direct cross-border parcel network to access a wider overseas market in Singapore, China, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
The end-to-end logistics service spans customs clearance, warehousing, and line haul shipping via sea or air.
"With the rise in eCommerce activities, we are also witnessing a shifting trend in customers’ last-mile delivery preferences. To cater to a more diverse customer base that is also purchasing a wider selection of products online, we are expanding the collection point to provide customers with greater flexibility and convenience," said Au Yeong Shong Kwong, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore and Malaysia, Cainiao Network.
He noted that collection stations offer more advantages compared to other modes of last-mile delivery options since it offers more space to accommodate odd-sized or larger parcels, longer operating hours, complimentary storage and more convenient locations to ease the collection process.
"The ultimate goal here is to diversify last-mile offerings to deliver greater customer service and satisfaction," Shong Kwong added.
Yunda to invest RMB 30 million
Meanwhile, its partner, Yunda Express is investing "over RMB 30 million (US$4.6M) to expand its coverage in Malaysia.
"Today, our local last-mile logistics network comprises a 3000-strong team, 600 delivery vehicles, and 100 collection points which will be increased five-fold to 500 in the next two years. Most importantly, the use of cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) allows us to leverage smart sorting and last-mile parcel management respectively increase overall productivity, accuracy and reduce operations cost,” Dato Luke Low Choon Peng said.
With increased technology adoption and internet penetration, the Malaysian e-Commerce sector is predicted to grow by about 30% in 2022.
This growth has been accelerated by the pandemic and subsequent enforcement of Movement Control Order (MCO) in March which increased consumers’
adoption of online shopping and the growth of adjacent e-Commerce logistics services.