Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, announced on Wednesday that it will lead a joint venture to invest US$1.5 billion to build a high-caliber digital logistics center at Hong Kong International Airport.
Cainiao will lead the project, holding 51% stake of the joint venture, with China National Aviation Corporation owning a 35% stake and YTO Express, 14% .
The new logistic center will process air cargo, sort and fulfill orders in an estimated gross floor area of 380,000 square meters. It will also feature technologies such as automated warehousing and temperature-control solutions
In its full capacity after being put into operation in 2023, the center is said to be able to handle an incremental cargo volume of 1.7 million tonnes per annum to the Hong Kong International Airport.
Last week, Cainiao unveiled its plans to open five international hubs around the world. The new center in Hong Kong is part of Alibaba‘s commitment of a 100 billion yuan investment, equivalent to $15.6 billion USD, in an efficient smart logistics network that connects to all parts of China in 24 hours, and the rest of the world in 72.
The Hong Kong hub serving as strategic point for Cainao will also reinforce the city’s position as a key gateway in the global logistics chain, said Wan Lin, the president of Cainiao Network, in the company’s statement.
Cainiao currently has three Global Fulfillment Centers operated by its partners in Hong Kong.
Last month, Cainiao opened an airfreight route between Hong Kong and Belgium, the second international airfreight route for e-commerce parcels since the Hangzhou – Moscow route opened earlier this year.