How bpost is pushing world borders
Transferring parcels from train containers and airplanes onto trucks, handling customs formalities, forwarding shipments to international postal operators and last-mile deliveries: Landmark Global and bpost also are commissioned by online giant Alibaba for these transactions via our country. This results in a considerable parcel volume on an annual basis.
Since last year, Cainiao, logistics subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has been organizing the delivery of several tons of parcels for and through our country to the rest of Europe. All of this in strong partnership with bpost.
Largest cargo airport
“Every week, we take care of the handling and processing of hundreds of thousands of parcels via Belgium on behalf of Cainiao,” explains Ming-chia Tu, International Product and Project Manager at Landmark Global, a bpost subsidiary. “As soon as the cargo flights and train containers arrive in Brussels and Liège, we take over. Thanks to our fast and structured processing, we limit the transit times of orders from thousands of European end consumers.”
Cainiao is responsible for the delivery via flights and trains between China and Europe. Jungen Huang, Head of EU Linehaul Network at Cainiao: “We choose Liège as a logistics hub for the distribution of e-commerce parcels because of its excellent central location in Europe. Moreover, the Liège airport is the largest cargo airport in Belgium, and the eighth largest on the European continent. We consciously avoid transport to Europe via ships: it just would make travel times unnecessarily long. “
“Every week, we take care of the handling and processing of hundreds of thousands of parcels via Belgium on behalf of Cainiao.”
Through this important partnership with a major Chinese player, bpost not only creates additional jobs in our country, but also encourages new partnerships with other Chinese companies, Ming-chia Tu emphasizes. “Thanks to the important partnership with Cainiao, we attract new customers and we extend deals with existing customers. For example, some Chinese companies only fly to Brussels, whereas we, as bpost, offer services both in Brussels and Liège airports. It gives the customer more options, allowing us to handle even larger volumes. “Moreover, Landmark Global is organized in such a way that it can be very flexible when it comes to deliveries that arrive later or different than planned for external reasons; Chinese customers can really appreciate that!
Language and digital communication challenges
According to Jungen Huang, the biggest challenge of international cooperation on a large scale – such as that between Cainiao and Landmark Global – is perhaps the language difference between Mandarin and English. “Naturally, bpost and Cainiao share a number of important company values: these are the foundation of our open cooperation. In the end, our people always understand each other, but sometimes it requires some language and interpretation efforts on both sides. Anyway we like to work with Belgians: they are kind, honest and sincere.”
For this intercontinental cooperation, a digital communication gap also had to be bridged, says Ming-chia Tu. “Cainiao uses DingTalk, a self-developed platform for business communication and collaboration. Most conversations go through a corresponding app and official documents are shared in the same way. “The app has now been installed on the smartphones and laptops of the Landmark Global employees so that they can stay in touch with the customer wherever and whenever it is required. That took some getting used to because for their European customers, bpost staff mainly uses e-mails.
“We like to work with Belgians: they are friendly, honest and sincere.”
2020 and beyond …
Landmark Global is currently conducting additional discussions with Alibaba’s and Cainiao’s managers, concludes Ming-chia Tu. “The intention is to set up an even deeper and more strategic cooperation between Belgium and China. We do not only want to strengthen the cooperation between Landmark Global and Cainiao, we also want to expand it on an even larger scale in the coming years. This will benefit all parties.”