Alibaba inks supply chain agreement with Dubai

Alibaba, logistics arm, Cainiao, Emirates, Skycargo,
Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, cargo with Xiaodong Guan, general manager of Cainiao Global Business at the MoU signing. (C) Stattimes

In efforts aimed at expanding and strengthening its supply chain, Cainiao, the logistics arm of Chinese multinational e-commerce giant, has chosen Emirates Skycargo to help with the shipments of its international cargo.

The development also underscores Dubai’s growing importance in global logistics management in the Middle East.

The landmark agreement comes at a time when Beijing is increasingly flexing its economic muscles and this is just one of several ways, it is going about doing just that. Cainiano has selected Dubai, as one of six cities which it looks to build and strengthen its supply chain hubs.

According to Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President of Cargo at Emirates, the accord is “the first step” in what Emirates expects to be a “deep relationship”, with the Chinese multinational e-commerce giant.

As part of the supply chain agreement, Emirates SkyCargo will handle all e-commerce shipments on behalf of Cainiao in the Middle East.

“Further details of the tie-up will be announced progressively as they are developed by the two parties,” said Emirates Skycargo in a statement.

The strategic move is part of Alibaba’s Cainiao wanting to develop and build logistics and supply chain capabilities in order to deliver cargo anywhere in China within 24 hours; it also aims to deliver cargo anywhere in the world within 72 hours.

Currently, Emirates Skycargo operates 50 flights weekly to China thanks to its all-widebody fleet of 267 aircraft which includes 13 Boeing 777-Fs as well as one B747-F, which helps it link Europe to Asia.

Dubai’s geography “is well positioned to help us achieve our goal of 72-hour global delivery,” said Xiaodong Guan, General Manager of Cainiao Global Business in reference to the supply chain agreement.

He went on to add, “We have a strong commitment to Dubai and the neighbouring markets. This fits well with our broader strategy”.