DHL e-Commerce Solutions and Alibaba logistics arm, Cainiao, are bundling their forces in Poland to improve and speed up the out-of-home delivery services. It is the first time that both logistics service providers are working closely together in a single market without any mutual capital commitment. The operational specifics still must be carved out, but the international networks of both logistics heavyweights will manage the supplies, explains communications officer, David Stoeppler, of DHL’s e-Commerce division.
Two working together is better and faster than one working alone. This seems to be the motto of Cainiao Network and DHL e-Commerce Solutions in Poland. An understandable alliance, because the
competition in the express and e-commerce market of the Eastern European country is cutthroat. Alongside the state-owned postal agency, Poczta Polska, the Polish company InPost is one of DHL's
most active and strongest competitors. The approximately 8,000 parcel stations that InPost operates all across the country are a considerable advantage for the company.
Additional service offering
At least so far. But now DHL and Cainiao are jointly flexing their muscles in order to capture a big slice of the rapidly growing pie. “Poland is one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in Europe, expected to double by 2027, and up to 40% of consumers prefer to have shipments delivered to parcel lockers,” notes Pablo Ciano, CEO of DHL eCommerce Solutions. By joining forces, both partners will strengthen their position as a trusted parcel provider and create an extensive network of easy-to-use parcel lockers. “In this way, we can provide our customers with an even greater shipping experience, on top of our existing to-door delivery options,” says Mr. Ciano.
Initial investment of EUR 60 million
Provided the pact is given the green light by Brussels’ competition watchdogs, both partners will merge their existing parcel locker networks so that consumers get instant and seamless access to the service providers’ infrastructural offerings. Currently, they jointly run a total of 1,200 parcel lockers in Poland. Furthermore, based on the existing DHL network of parcel shops and access points, the companies will invest 60 million euros in the initial phase of the partnership, in installing modern parcel lockers with user-friendly interfaces at key locations. The ultimate ambition is to build Poland's leading parcel locker network, with seamless coverage of the first and last mile, adding to the already extensive network operated by DHL in Europe, totaling over 90,000 access points, is stated in a release.
“As we tap into the great potential of Europe’s e-commerce market, Cainiao strives to contribute to the growth of a sustainable logistics ecosystem by deepening our cooperation with our local partners. We are glad to have found such a strong and well-established partner in DHL, who shares our vision. By combining both companies' logistics, technology and e-commerce expertise, we aspire to deliver superior service to our clients and create an unmatched online shopping experience for consumers.” states William Xiong, Chief Strategy Officer and General Manager of Europe and SEA regions at Cainiao Network.
Is Poland a launch pad for similar projects elsewhere?
The partnership is initially limited to Poland, but he does not rule out expansion to other European countries, whether with Cainiao as a partner or local players with a strong market presence, said David Stoeppler when asked.
The intercontinental shipments would primarily travel from origin to destination within the air networks operated by DHL Express and Cainiao, and onforwarded from their hubs in Leipzig (DHL) or Liège (Cainiao) to their drop-off points in Poland. Asked about expected monthly or quarterly volumes, Mr. Stoeppler said that to name a viable quantity at this point would be very speculative and much too early, lacking any experience.
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