One billion parcels for Singles’ Day: Deliverymen, are you ready?

Last year’s Singles’ Day shopping festival saw a total of 467 million orders completed – on Alibaba’s platforms alone. This year, Chinese delivery services are expected to handle over one billion parcels in one week, with 2.68 million deliverymen manning the front lines, according to predictions from the China Express Association and Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainiao.

Can logistics companies handle all those parcels?

The answer is yes.

Efficiency can be ensured with machines. For example, an automated sorting system can deal with 20,000 parcels per hour. By recognizing the bar code attached to each parcel, a machine can be as efficient as 480 workers, the deputy director of Yunda Express Lai Shiqiang told Xinhua News Agency.

Wang Yong, executive director of Yuantong Delivery, said that this year, with data available, they will monitor the overall delivery network to reduce the likelihood of overstocking any dispatching center with too many parcels to handle.

Additionally, big data will play a big part in dispatching and delivering.

In the past, orders were dealt with in a chronological order, that is, an order completed earlier is handled earlier. However, now with big data and cloud computing, orders can be distributed based on their destinations. Intelligent distribution starts right after an order is placed with the seller,” said Cainiao CTO Wang Wenbin.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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