Zhejiang launches first freight flight to Madrid

Zhejiang launches first freight flight to Madrid (ezhejiang.gov.cn) Updated : 2020-08-14 Print Mail

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Workers load an airplane with goods before it takes off from Hangzhou International Airport and flies to Madrid, capital of Spain, on Aug 13. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]

An airplane loaded with nearly a hundred metric tons of goods took off from Hangzhou International Airport and flew to Madrid, capital of Spain, on Aug 13.

It marks the launch of the first-ever freight air route between Madrid and East China s Zhejiang province. The air route s organizers include Zhejiang Provincial Airport Group, Air China Cargo, and Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, which is the logistics arm of Alibaba Group.

The cargo for the flight was mainly comprised of goods that European consumers have purchased on Alibaba s AliExpress platform. Much of the cargo was made up of tiny consumer goods which are priced at a few dollars but still exempt from postage fees.

Data from Cainiao show that parcels priced below $5 now make up an increasingly large proportion of all exported goods. But how can such tiny goods afford express air delivery? It relies on a smart technology, newly adopted by Cainiao, to efficiently combine different purchasing orders.

According to Xiong Wei, general manager of Cainiao s export logistics business division, the past few months amid the COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge of demand in Western countries for China s consumer goods. Due to the highly efficient combination of different purchasing orders, the previously snail-mailed parcels can be easily transported through chartered flights, saving much of the delivery time while keeping logistics costs intact.

With the launch of new routes and the increase of transporting frequency, we have shortened the delivery time for many exported goods from two months by snail mail to no more than 10 days by express air travel, Xiong said.

Xiong added that the smart technology for purchasing order combinations has already been applied in the exportation business towards numerous European countries and will be adopted for the entire global market in the near future.

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