Executive Briefings

E-Retailers Say They Continue to Struggle With Cross-Border Demand

E-commerce has been the dominant force for change in the air cargo logistics business for the last several years, but online retailers, forwarders, carriers and integrators say they are still struggling with ways to keep up with the intense demand from international customers to deliver them the world instantly. This was the main theme of the plenary session, "Cross-border E-Commerce: Who Will Rule the Game?", at last week's Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference (ALMC) in Hong Kong.

Panelist Zheng Changqing, senior director of eBay's greater China region, said the future of cross-border e-commerce will be something he calls "Commerce 3.0," which will create "seamless and truly global commerce" to anyone in the world, merging both the offline and online experience.

Guo Dongbai, chief technology officer for AliExpress, the export arm of Chinese e-retail giant Alibaba, said that the future will be centered around the "electronic world trade platform" that will "accelerate globalization, so that goods can flow freely among countries," which will also help small businesses survive.

“We’re not trying to be Amazon,” Guo explained to the ALMC crowd. “We want every small business to be Amazon. And AliExpress is the center of that effort.” As the division of Alibaba that handles cross-border exports, AliExpress handles about $10bn in shipments annually to 18 million customers.

However, Guo admitted that the task was not easy. “We are actually troubled by logistics,” he said. “For almost all the countries we serve, the delivery date is more than 20 days for guaranteed delivery. For cross-border, it is almost 20 to 30 days.” Hassles involving customs, he said, “take the majority of the time.” To speed up this process, he added, the opportunities can be found in all aspects of the supply chain, including shipping, packaging and delivery.

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Panelist Zheng Changqing, senior director of eBay's greater China region, said the future of cross-border e-commerce will be something he calls "Commerce 3.0," which will create "seamless and truly global commerce" to anyone in the world, merging both the offline and online experience.

Guo Dongbai, chief technology officer for AliExpress, the export arm of Chinese e-retail giant Alibaba, said that the future will be centered around the "electronic world trade platform" that will "accelerate globalization, so that goods can flow freely among countries," which will also help small businesses survive.

“We’re not trying to be Amazon,” Guo explained to the ALMC crowd. “We want every small business to be Amazon. And AliExpress is the center of that effort.” As the division of Alibaba that handles cross-border exports, AliExpress handles about $10bn in shipments annually to 18 million customers.

However, Guo admitted that the task was not easy. “We are actually troubled by logistics,” he said. “For almost all the countries we serve, the delivery date is more than 20 days for guaranteed delivery. For cross-border, it is almost 20 to 30 days.” Hassles involving customs, he said, “take the majority of the time.” To speed up this process, he added, the opportunities can be found in all aspects of the supply chain, including shipping, packaging and delivery.

Read Full Article