How fast is express delivery in China? Minutes, not hours

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A man surnamed Huang in the southern Foshan city, received a package 13 minutes after he placed the order on Alibaba's shopping site, on early hours of November 11, 2016. [Photo: Tmall]

13 minutes, that is how fast delivery can be in China after you place your orders online.

A man surnamed Huang in the southern Foshan city, received a package 13 minutes after he placed the order on Alibaba's shopping site,

According to system record, Mr Huang's order was submitted less than one second after midnight, at 00:00:09 on November 11, the day known as the biggest online shopping spree in China.

The item was then packed and shipped out of storage at precisely 00:06:51, according to records, and got delivered by an EMS delivery minivan to Mr. Huang's door.

Records show he signed for the package at 00:13:19, thirteen minutes and one second later.

Tmall says Mr. Huang was their first costumer to receive a package on the "Double 11" day.

Express delivery staff carring a package on November 11, 2016. [Photo: Tmall]

How did this happen?

You might wonder if Mr. Huang happens to live right next to the storage center, but the truth to the flash delivery is based on big data and the shipping experience of previous years.

An alliance named 'Cainiao network' launched by Alibaba and the three leading Chinese express delivery firms strengthen their logistics networks, including by sharing 128 warehouses nationwide. It can help its delivery partners offer same-day service in 12 cities across the country.

According to Tmall's statistics from last year, most parcels delivered to consumers within one day were large durable goods, such as appliances.

That is due to Tmall's one-step-ahead move to put hot items most favored by consumers several days ahead in warehouses and storage sites across the country.

When an order is placed on the online platform, the system will find the closest inventory site, backed by big data, and the online platform will then automatically transfer the order information to the closest warehouse for processing and shipping.

In 2015, Chinese e-commerce generated 20.6 billion parcels, up from 860 million a decade earlier.

With the double eleven ongoing and sales breaking records and in record time, the total number for this year's packages is expected to further grow.


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