Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, will invest HK$5 million (US$645,000) to keep logistics operations running during the upcoming Lunar New Year festivities, which typically lasts two weeks.
The logistics provider of Taobao and Tmall explained that this ‘value-added’ service means businesses in Mainland China and Hong Kong will be able to continue their sales and deliveries even during the traditional Lunar New Year shutdown, and Hong Kong consumers will be able to enjoy shopping without worrying about delays.
After the Hong Kong pilot, the plan is to expand the service to other regions in the near future.
This service would encompass a 1500-strong workforce across its logistics operations, including Cainiao’s warehouses, 170 island-wide collection points, its partner and courier network as well as customer service.
With the latest initiative Cainiao promises that consumers in Hong Kong will be able to receive their parcels within three working days and will be given compensation for late deliveries.
“With the pandemic, logistics has increasingly served as an essential service that connects people to goods, services and most importantly, their loved ones,” said Ray Cheuk, head of operations (Hong Kong), Cainiao Global Supply Chain.
“During festivities such as this Lunar New Year, we hope that by keeping the logistics service running, we are creating opportunities for businesses to increase sales revenue and for consumers to connect with their loved ones by sending gifts across the border or to enjoy local produce without having to commute home,” he added.
Logistics operators traditionally shut down services such as acceptance of orders and parcel deliveries as early as two weeks prior to the Lunar New Year, Cainiao explained.
“Businesses will have to manage inventory, production timeline and shipping deadlines in order to ensure that they deliver to their customers successfully during the seasonal rush.
“The Lunar New Year shutdowns are usually followed by mass demand from businesses that need to make up for the two to three weeks’ worth of delayed shipments,” it added.