China e-commerce boom fuels flurry of new charter flights and freighter routes

China’s cross-border e-commerce volumes are surging, prompting new charter flights and freighter routes to keep up with demand.

Alibaba’s logistics unit, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, said this week it would increase its charter flights to 1,260 over the next nine months.

It chartered 200 flights during March and April, an increase from an average 100 to around 140 flights a month.

Cainiao said the additional flights would allow it to halve its average international airfreight delivery time to three-to-five days – in 2015, it said the “ultimate goal” was to deliver internationally in 72 hours.

In March, a new five-flights-a-week charter service was launched from Cainiao’s home base of Hangzhou to Kuala Lumpur, while other new routes include dedicated flights from Hangzhou, Hong Kong and Harbin to Moscow, Tel Aviv and Liege.

General manager Zhao Jian told media: “The plan is that our intelligent technology could match products waiting for delivery and aircraft with cargo transport capacity available, and work efficiently within our network.”

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Source: The Load Star