Alibaba's logistics affiliate Cainiao has established three fresh food distribution centers in three major Chinese cities.
The three centers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are expected to support cold chain delivery of fresh food purchased on Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com to the doorsteps of Chinese consumers within 24 hours.
Cainiao's cold chain delivery service currently reaches 18 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen. By the end of 2015, Cainiao plans to expand this service to 50 major Chinese cities. To fulfill the varying needs of customers, the three new distribution centers also support on-demand delivery services, including delivery on specific dates and times, and night delivery.
Driven by their growing disposable income and healthier eating habits, an increasing number of Chinese consumers are seeking out better quality, freshness and convenience when they shop for food. The demand for quality food has fueled recent growth in online food retailing, which in turn is driving the development of cold chain logistics to serve China's online population of 618 million.
To meet with the rising demand from Chinese consumers, Cainiao has joined hands with its partners to establish cold chain infrastructure and techniques to operate and manage refrigerated warehouses, equipment and packaging to ensure the quality of perishables, such as meat and produce, upon delivery.