Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, has announced the launch of a new direct air freight channel from China to East Malaysia.
Collaborating with Lazada, a Southeast Asian logistics company, Cainiao will launch three direct flights a week to the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. The new direct routes will result in savings of more than 50% and will shorten the average delivery time by two days.
Traditionally, shipping to Sabah and Sarawak entails multiple modes of transportation. For a package to arrive in Kota Samarahan, it would have to travel via international freight to Kuala Lumpur Airport, Malaysia, then onto a domestic flight to Kuching, before finally going out for last-mile courier delivery to the customer’s doorstep. In total, this process could take between one and two weeks. The added flights will shorten average delivery times by approximately two to seven days.
“Industry data revealed that Malaysia’s e-commerce is set to more than double from US$6bn to US$13bn from 2020 to 2025, with 61% of cross-border e-commerce purchases from China. Against the backdrop of growing consumer demand and increased e-tailer competition, superior logistics services will continue to be the key differentiator for merchants to improve customer experience and establish their competitive edge,” said Shawn Louis Lui, executive general manager for Cainiao and chief LazGlobal logistics officer. He added that because the new “direct air freight route to East Malaysia effectively removes domestic air freight and ground transfers, consumers in East Malaysia can now enjoy the same delivery timeliness and shipping cost as those in West Malaysia”.
The announcement follows the opening of the Cainiao Aeropolis eWTP Hub, an e-fulfillment hub at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), in November 2020. These moves aim to better position Malaysia as an e-commerce distribution and air freight gateway in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).