The Supply Chain Matters blog provides our first update regarding the kickoff of the 2018 holiday fulfillment surge.

2018 Singles Day Online Shopping Holiday

This weekend, the Singles Day holiday shopping event across China set a new record for overall sales and order volumes. Online retailer Alibaba has indicated that it booked $30.8 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) sales during the one-day event’ surpassing the 2017 revenue milestone of nearly $25 billion.

A staggering $4.7 billion in sales were booked in the first 10 minutes of the shopping event, and in twenty minutes, online sales exceeded last year’s Black Friday’s today  online shopping revenue of $5 billion and came very close to exceeding Cyber Monday’s full-day total of $6.6 billion as well. That was in the first twenty minutes. China Singles Day Logistics

Keep in mind that most media outlets have been highlighting Alibaba’s sales performance but other online providers such as JD.com will surely add to the overall shopping holiday total haul.

Sunday’s performance cements Singles Day as being the most significant global-wide, single-day online shopping event. Once more, because of the declining value of the China’s yuan, more sales were required to achieve the equivalent dollar amount of that last year.

New merchandising features were again introduced for this year’s event including the inclusion of Singapore based online retailer Lazada in holiday promotional activities. Lazada is owned by Alibaba. As occurred last year, the event featured integrated promotional programs that spanned by online, mobile and physical brick and mortar retail outlets.

The remaining Singles Day challenge occurs the remainder of this week as millions of packages flood the country’s parcel transportation, logistics and last-mile delivery channels to make their way to domestic and international consumers. As we have highlighted in previous blogs, additional millions have been invested in prior months to boost automation efforts across customer logistics support centers including automated robots and material handling equipment. We may also learn of new applications of machine-learning and artificial intelligent applied to Singles Day logistics challenges over the coming weeks.

 

Transportation Update

Another update relative to our initial holiday surge kickoff commentary is that on Sunday, UPS and the Teamsters Union announced that union workers have ratified a final five-year contract offer, averting a potential work stoppage related to the UPS Freight business unit. The agreement averts what could have been UPS’s first labor union work stoppage since 1997.

UPS has immediately resumed pickup from UPS Freight customers after suspending all pick-ups last week as a contingency measure.

While declared ratified, UPS’s larger parcel delivery unit new labor pact is still undergoing local supplemental agreements before finalizing.

 

Bob Ferrari

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