June 29, 2021: Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, has announced the launch of its first air cargo route between China and Africa, amidst booming demand for Chinese products and close bilateral tie between the two countries, as reported by PayLoad Asia.

Operating over six times weekly, the air freight service will ship parcels from Hong Kong to Lagos, Nigeria. Cainiao said the delivery time will take 20 days from China to Africa, which shows an improvement from the previous time of 60 days, which included transit into the Middle East.

Cainiao’s ecommerce parcel volume between the two countries was up by 163 percent year-on-year in May, and the launch of the air cargo route is expected to support the surge in trade volume and the growth of the ecommerce market in Africa, which is projected to reach $34.6 billion by 2024.

It also cited data released by customs agency showing 26.9 percent bilateral trade growth between China and Africa in the first quarter of 2021 to $52.1 billion.

This year, Cainiao launched cargo flights to Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East to further enhance cross-border parcel shipping efficiency.

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