Alibaba outlined the scale of its ambition as well as its potential for down-the-line disruption of the air cargo sector in a link-up with the recent Clear View 3.0 Thought Leadership summit in Bangkok.
Whilst the tone was gentle, Alibaba revealed a company with big plans for its customers that look set to reconfigure the transportation sector.
The trigger is the decision to let customers decide the mode of transport will deliver their goods.
The Hangzhou–based ecommerce giant has already undertaken a pilot study on maritime and is now looking to do a similar one with airlines, Linda Wang, from Alibaba’s standardisation department told Clear View 3.0 via a broadcast link. “We are planning to have another case study on airlines,” Wang said.
Alibaba’s thinking is a bit more advanced than that by all accounts as her positioning vis-à-vis the air cargo industry showed some depth.
“We want to have a discussion about the visibility challenge,” she said at the head of her remarks.
Another issue she raised was one already known shared by the air cargo industry. “We have the problem about the accuracy of the data,” Wang said.
One of the criticism she raised – one which shows the reach Alibaba is thinking of giving itself – is the required standards for end to end information sharing. “Another important issue is the standards (there are) a lot of different logistics platforms,” she said.
Other sources at Alibaba were mute when approached for comment. However the company has made several forays into the logistics sector.
The International Logistics Visibility Task Force, was initiated by the Alibaba Group, its logistics arm Cainiao Network Technology Co., Ltd, the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA) and others earlier in the autumn.
Alibaba and Cainiao also invested $1.38 billion in Chinese express company ZTO over the summer.