Alibaba’s cross-border ecommerce site, Tmall Global, has launched a new cold chain logistics initiative to support the international transfer of fresh and perishable products. Temperature-controlled warehouses and transport infrastructure will be available to move products in categories such as perishable grocery and pharmacy into China in line with defined cool chain requirements.
Alibaba’s latest investment reflects its growing aspirations in cross-border trade, with an aim to double the number of foreign brands on Tmall Global to 40,000 between now and 2022, in a bid to satisfy the increasing number of Chinese consumers seeking high-quality products from established Western brands. Alibaba’s international brand partnerships until now have largely focused on ambient categories, such as beauty and ambient grocery, underpinning how improvements to cold chain logistics will help broaden its cross-border category reach.
With China’s cross-border ecommerce sales growing at an estimated annual rate of 30%, international brands have a significant opportunity to increase their exposure by partnering with leading platforms such as Tmall Global. CPGs operating in temperature-sensitive categories, such as pharmaceuticals and grocery - and who may have been previously deterred by the need to partner with multiple logistics partners on Chinese fulfillment - will now have a low-barrier opportunity to build and drive presence in the world’s largest ecommerce market.
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