Air Cargo Management

Saudia Cargo, Cainiao and WFS collaborate on future of e-commerce logistics

Saudia Cargo, Cainiao, and WFS/SATS increase strategic collaboration to efficiently process cross-border e-commerce shipments in Liege
photo_camera Picture from left: Marwan Niazi, Saudia Cargo; Thomas Yu, Cainiao Group; Eric Xu, Cainiao Group; Loay Mashabi, Saudia Cargo; John Batten, WFS/SATS; Teddy Zebtiz, Saudia Cargo; Mohanned Badri, Saudia Cargo; Assaad Sfeir, WFS/SATS.

Saudia Cargo, Cainiao, and Worldwide Flight Services (WFS, a member of the SATS Group) have announced they are joining forces to create a business model for future e-commerce logistics gateways at global airports.

The organisations have stated that the collaboration comes at a time of online shopping growth on a global scale, making the need for efficient and innovative e-commerce logistics solutions paramount.

A key component of the collaboration is the establishment of a dedicated area in the air cargo station of Cainiao Liege eHub in Belgium, the company’s European regional hub. WFS/SATS, in close collaboration with Cainiao, operates in the air cargo station.

This initiative responds directly to the escalating demand for high-quality logistics operations in the cross-border e-commerce sector, particularly in the Middle East and European markets.

Earlier this year, Cainiao unveiled its international express shipping service, Global 5-Day Delivery, in collaboration with AliExpress, now available in the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and South Korea.

Saudia Cargo and Cainiao have worked together for several years, and this latest agreement reinforces their longstanding relationship by giving precedence to specific Saudia Cargo freighter flights originating from Hong Kong and bound for Riyadh and Liege.

The move is said to address the burgeoning logistics demands in these key regions, further amplifying the efficiency of e-commerce deliveries.

Additionally, the contract extension to WFS/SATS for handling over 50,000 tonnes annually on flights connecting Liege and Riyadh underscores Saudia Cargo’s commitment to operational excellence and reliable logistics services.

WFS/SATS’s investment in subleasing part of the Cainiao facility in Liege emphasises its focus on innovation and efficiency, creating a dedicated area for speedy and real-time information processing.

WFS/SATS’s technology solutions, including AGVs, advanced PDAs, digital dashboard and live tracking systems, support a new generation of cargo management systems using IoT technologies to drive efficient and sustainable e-commerce handling. 

Teddy Zebitz, chief executive of Saudia Cargo, said: “Our collaboration with Cainiao and WFS/SATS represents a natural evolution of our strong collaborations.

“By building on our existing commitments, we are poised to redefine the industry landscape, offering innovative and customer-centric solutions.

“Our collaboration ensures a seamless flow of e-commerce materials from Hong Kong to Liege. With high frequency flights on our Hong Kong, to Liege Via Riyadh route, we have a significant capacity exclusively dedicated to Cainiao.

“Utilising a meticulous process involving pre-built ULDs, we facilitate an uninterrupted supply chain, supporting Cainiao in achieving their key performance indicators.

“With a ‘human first’ approach, we’re committed to collaborating with customers and partners, offering tailored solutions.

“This collaboration significantly strengthens our e-commerce operations, positioning us as a trusted industry provider. We anticipate expanding our e-commerce network in Asia and Europe to meet evolving industry demands and customer logistics needs.”

Eric Xu, vice president of Cainiao Group, said: “Cainiao is committed to transforming the logistics industry through continuous innovation to enable a seamless e-commerce experience and we are delighted to find close partners like Saudi Cargo and WFS/SATS on this path.

“Through continuously equipping our Liege eHub with cutting-edge technology solutions, we managed to boost the efficiency of logistics operations while improving customer experience through greater transparency and traceability.

“We are confident that this win-win collaboration will further reinforce Cainiao’s position as the world’s leading cross-border e-commerce logistics provider by offering the valued customers of us three companies with enhanced experience.”

John Batten, chief executive, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia (EMEAA) WFS, a member of the SATS Group, said: “E-commerce is extremely important to WFS/SATS, our customers, our industry, and, of course, consumers, but up to now, it has been processed within a traditional air cargo handling environment.

“With the growth projections for e-commerce, the industry response must be more dynamic and tailored, and this is what WFS/SATS aims to deliver in Liege working alongside Saudia Cargo and Cainiao.

“This three-party collaboration leverages operational excellence skills and requirements from the airline, cargo handler, and e-commerce logistics perspectives, and will exemplify our commitment to innovation, speed, and real-time information for the future of the e-commerce logistics ecosystem.”

Inaugurating on March 1, 2024, the strategic collaboration between Saudia Cargo, Cainiao, and WFS/SATS aims to make a transformative leap in global logistics and to set a new benchmark which propels cross-border logistics into a new era, driven by efficiency and innovation.

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