Sustainability at Scale: Cainiao's E-Commerce Logistics Platform and CSR Impact

Posted by Amanda Del Signore on Tue, Jan 02, 2024 @ 11:40 AM
Amanda Del Signore

23 spotlight Square-4Stevie-winner Cainiao Network is a global leader in e-commerce logistics and cross-border e-commerce logistics services with logistics facilities in strategic locations around the world, serving over 200 countries and regions.

It was founded by Alibaba Group and other partners in 2013 to address the growing, evolving requirements for logistics services of the buyers and sellers on Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platforms.

The rapid shift to e-commerce during the pandemic amplified challenges in communications and collaboration between last-mile logistics companies, merchants, consumers, and courier personnel. To alleviate some of these pain points, Cainiao developed an AI e-commerce logistics digital collaboration platform.

The two key offerings of the platform include:

  • An AI outbound call robot, used primarily by courier personnel, which helps to proactively notify consumers of their upcoming deliveries, obtains corresponding delivery requests, and provides acknowledgments.
  • AI-powered customer service robots in the smart call center to handle inquiries from merchants and customers autonomously, including order placement, parcel tracking, complaints, pick-up locations, and more. Each year, the smart call center serves more than 40 million customers, saving one million working days for customer support.

The proprietary platform aims to address communications needs, data security, consumer privacy protections, and the inefficiency and high cost of manual calls. The platform improves the overall efficacy of communications systems, reduces labor costs, mitigates labor constraints, and supports the continuation of logistics operations with minimal human interaction or labor—all while enhancing customer satisfaction rates.

Today, the platform facilitates over 80 million private and secure communications daily. It assists couriers, post station managers, and customer service personnel across the entire network to save more than one million outbound calls daily while reducing labor costs by approximately USD $42.8 million a year.
Cainiao body image
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Initiatives
Cainiao's ESG initiatives are deeply embedded in every element of the logistics value chain, revolving around five focus areas, namely green logistics, customer experience, community services, emergency logistics, and high-quality employment.

Cainiao’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy aims to support the sustainable development of communities and businesses, drive job creation, and revitalize rural revitalization amid economic instability.

Recognizing CSR as a multifaceted initiative, Cainiao’s business is mapped against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) to pinpoint focus areas that align with the company’s expertise and resources. To that end, Cainiao Post and Green Logistics serve as the key technology and community-enabled sustainability initiatives.

Cainiao Post
Launched in 2015, the Cainiao Post network was created to alleviate the pain points of last-mile delivery. Presently, there are over 170,000 post stations across China, providing entrepreneurial opportunities while also serving as a model for revitalizing last-mile logistics via digital transformation.

Over the past year, the network has been expanded by over 20%. Over 200,000 jobs were created in 40,000 communities and 3,000 campuses, serving over 100 million consumers combined. By 2024, Cainiao aims to build 10,000 more Cainiao post stations to support the government’s goal of driving domestic economic growth.

Green Logistics
To reinforce a greener supply chain, Cainiao has partnered with global brands, such as Nestlé and P&G, alongside logistics players to share resources and expertise as well as organize campaigns to raise awareness.

Cainiao’s green warehouses feature photovoltaic (PV) panels on its rooftops, which generate 25 million kWh of electricity and are responsible for reducing 16,000 tons of carbon emissions in a year. To double capacity by 2023, Cainiao aims to install PV panels across all its logistics park rooftops in China.

Looking ahead, Cainiao is committed to delivering faster, more cost-effective, and environmentally friendly services to merchants and consumers across the world.

Cainiao won a Silver Stevie® Award for Innovative Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility, and a Gold Stevie Award for Innovation in Transportation & Logistics in the 2023 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards.

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Topics: Asia-Pacific Business Awards