Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, has launched a daily charter flight from Nanning to Ho Chi Minh City to meet demand ahead of Vietnam’s Tết Lunar New Year celebration.
The logistics firm said the daily three-hour flight would serve as an alternative to truck transportation amid current road congestion in Vietnam. Ports are also congested, the company said.
“Vietnam is experiencing an accelerated pandemic-driven logistics and supply chain crisis, following the country’s various lockdown and quarantine measures,” Cainiao said.
The daily flight will carry Alibaba-owned Lazada’s e-commerce goods and provide additional capacities in anticipation of a “surge in cross-border parcel volume, in the period of time leading up to Tết”.
Cainiao said that Vietnam’s e-commerce market is currently valued at $13bn a year and is expected to increase to $39bn by 2025, with 35% annual growth.
This will make the country the second largest market in Southeast Asia.
Shawn Louis, general manager of Asia Pacific region, Cainiao Global Export, said: “During the last Lazada 11.11 Shopping Festival, Vietnam achieved approximately double the number of orders and sales compared to the year before, demonstrating the immense growth potential of the local consumer market.
“With the upcoming Tết, one of the largest celebrations in Vietnam, we are anticipating a similar surge in Lazada e-commerce purchases in the weeks leading up to the festival.
“Against the current backdrop of logistics disruptions and bottlenecks, the daily chartered flight from China to Vietnam will play a key role in boosting greater resilience in cross-border logistics.”
The company declined to say which aircraft and airline would operate the service.
The company has been expanding its airfreight presence in Southeast Asia of late. In December, the company announced plans to add new Malaysia charter flights as the country grows in importance as a regional e-commerce hub.