We all know what Aliexpress stands for: cheap products, dubious quality and, most certain, eternal delivery dates. Some days ago, I was browsing their webpage, on a quest to buy some components for a DIY project I’m immersed in and realized Aliexpress was faster than expected. As for 2019 the average delivery date of an Aliexpress package was 30 days. Compared to the standards, we have grown accustomed to next day delivery as Amazon does and Aliexpress seems to us that it took forever to delivery a single product. But the other day, the delivery to my house would only take 15 day. They halved their delivery times! But how did they do it?
Since 2019, the logistics branch from Alibaba has been trying to shorten its delivery times as the Europeans started to put their value concept on the delivery times and less on the cheap prices Aliexpress offered. They started to realize this on holiday seasons, as many customers preferred the fast and reliable Amazon shipments to the cheap prices of Chinese wholesalers. And this had to change.
Nowadays, delivering a package from China to Spain takes on average 15 days. This is half the time it took just one yea ago. And all thanks to a strengthen supply chain. The main reason is, that the Chinese marketplace started to operate their own flights from Hong Kong to Spain, in order to the ones controlling the flow of product from China to Spain. The company is operating three flights per week to Madrid in order to satisfy the demand of Spain and Portugal. This is the main change in their supply chain, which now is partly controlled by the Chinese company and not by third party logistic companies.
But moreover, the other big change is in their unit load concept. Aliexpress started to realize, customer shop for more than one item each time they accessed the marketplace. And that why they started to bundle deliveries for each customer. By doing this, both sides win. Customer get all their product at the same time, giving them the sensation of faster delivery and the company can minimize costs, as they now require fewer transports and logistic partners for each delivery.
So, to sum up, how did the company known for eternal delivery times halve its delivery time? Easy-peasy, reducing variability in their supply chain. Fewer partners, less single packages moving around, less intermediate stops and all this without rising prices. Amazon should start to consider this threat. While they do so, I’m going to wait for my package.
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