Robotics and AI Evolution in the Chinese E-Commerce Fulfillment Market

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By Lian Jye Su | 1Q 2018 | IN-5072


E-Commerce Fulfillment Needs More Automation


Since the emergence of Alibaba and, the e-commerce market in China has been growing at a rapid pace. This has led to an expansion in the logistics market, particularly in the segment of express delivery and contract logistics. Unlike Alibaba or, which rely mostly on in-house logistics arms, many major e-retailers rely heavily on third-party logistics service providers, such as SF Holdings, EMS (subsidiary of the China Post), and YTO Express.

According to the State Post Bureau, the express delivery market in China was estimated to be US$43.8 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach US$126.5 million in 2020. The prime example would be SF Holdings. Since its IPO in 2015, the leading Chinese company in third-party logistics has been growing by 22% year-on-year over the past 3 years.

However, compared to the customer-facing side of the business, e-commerce fulfillment processes remain labor-intensive and rely heavily on human employees. As of December 2017, Alibaba and still employ more than 2.5 million employees in warehousing and …

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