The launch of Cainiao Network’s first air cargo route between China and Africa is set to drastically reduce product delivery times amidst the e-commerce trade boom between China and Africa.
Reports by Payload Asia state that the Alibaba Group logistics arm will provide air freight services through six weekly flights between Hong Kong and Lagos, Nigeria. The product delivery time between China and Africa is said to be reduced from 60 days to 20 days according to the carrier.
The new routes launched by Cainiao Network will no longer include transits through the Middle East, hence contributing to the shorter delivery time.
In May 2021, Cainiao Network recorded a 163% year-on-year increase in e-commerce parcel volume between China and Africa. This is in line with the surge in trade volume in Africa recorded in the first quarter of 2021, with 26.9% bilateral trade growth between China and Africa,valued at $52.1 billion..
By 2024, the African e-commerce market is projected to reach $34.6 billion.
The Alibaba Group logistics arm was also active in the international cold chain network which distributed vaccines to Africa. This was operated through an agreement made with Ethiopian Airlines in December 2020.