A consumer collects his goods at an ochama store in Leiden, the Netherlands. (Photo/China Daily)
Chinese e-commerce and logistics companies are ramping up efforts to expand delivery networks and build logistics infrastructure in Europe amid a broader push to boost delivery efficiency and safeguard the stability of industrial and supply chains.
Ochama, Chinese e-commerce giant JD's omnichannel retail brand in Europe, recently announced the expansion of its home delivery services into 19 additional countries, as the company aims to expand its presence on the continent.
First launched in the Netherlands in January 2022, Ochama offers a retail model that merges online and offline shopping experiences. Shoppers can enjoy the convenience of ordering products online through Ochama's app, where a wide range of commodities like food, consumer electronics, beauty, maternal and infant products are on offer.
It provides both pick-up services and doorstep deliveries. This expansion brings Ochama's home delivery service to a network spanning 24 countries, integrating with existing services in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Germany.
Currently, Ochama has established more than 500 pick-up points in Europe and operates a 20,000-square-meter warehouse in the Netherlands, powered by AGV (automatic guided vehicle) robots that significantly enhance sorting efficiency. All orders will be packed at Ochama's automated warehouse in the Netherlands before being delivered to their final destinations.
"Overseas warehouses and express delivery networks serve as vital infrastructure that boost the growth of China's cross-border e-commerce sector," said Zhang Zhouping, a senior analyst of business-to-business and cross-border activities at the Internet Economy Institute, a domestic consultancy.
Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Chinese tech heavyweight Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, is also accelerating steps to build logistics networks and boost its service in Europe.
It has expanded its last-mile delivery network in Spain, offering nextday delivery in nine major cities including Madrid and Barcelona, as well as two-day delivery service in over 20 other Spanish cities. The delivery network is empowered by Cainiao's investments in smart logistics infrastructure like automated sorting centers and parcel lockers.
The company has developed a network of around 500 parcel lockers in Madrid and Barcelona to offer faster, more efficient and carbon footprint-reducing experiences.
SF Airlines, the aviation branch of logistics giant SF Express, has invested heavily in providing air cargo services and expanding its freighter fleet in Europe. It launched a new air cargo route linking Ezhou, Hubei province, with Frankfurt, Germany, in July.
Lu Zhenwang, CEO of Shanghai-based Wanqing Consultancy, said the efforts to invest in overseas warehouses and supply chain construction will enhance the competitiveness of Chinese foreign trade enterprises and bolster sales of Chinese products in overseas markets.
In addition, developing the international air freight business will help enterprises boost long-haul freight capacity and further improve cross-border delivery efficiency, said Yang Daqing, deputy director of research at the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.