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Cainiao launches container booking service in response to box scarcity

ALIBABA Group's Cainiao has launched a container booking service for air and sea freight, and said the move was in response to a global shortage of shipping containers that had pushed cargo costs to record highs

Cainiao launches container booking service in response to box scarcity
14 January 2021 - 19:54 - Update: 15 January 2021 - 21:43

ALIBABA Group's Cainiao has launched a container booking service for air and sea freight, and said the move was in response to a global shortage of shipping containers that had pushed cargo costs to record highs.

The logistics firm that underpins delivery for Alibaba's e-commerce marketplaces said its service would span over 200 ports in 50 countries, and it would offer 30-40 per cent lower cross-border port-to-port shipping fees versus the average market rate.



In China, the ports include those located in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Hangzhou and Yiwu.



A severe container shortage is pinching global export flows, driven by China's lopsided trade balance - exporting three containers for every one imported recently - and delays in containers returning to China due to the pandemic, reports Reuters.



The cost of chartering a 40-foot container from China to the US East Coast jumped more than 80 per cent in December from June, according to Freightos data in Refinitiv Eikon.



In a statement, the company said container bookings will be confirmed in as fast as two business days after an order is placed by the merchant, as opposed to the industry average of one week to a month.



'By working closely with airlines and cargo companies, we aim to safeguard the entire cross-border line haul network and instill greater stability into sea and air freight shipping,' James Zhao, General Manager of Cainiao Global Supply Chain, said in a statement.


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