Air CargoAmerican ShipperE-commerce & FulfillmentModern ShipperNews

Alibaba cargo flights supply duty-free shopping zone in China

Direct flights from Singapore slice days off transit time for in-demand luxury goods

The logistics arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has contracted with Suparna Airlines to operate daily dedicated cargo flights between Singapore and Hainan province in China to support Hainan’s emergence as a duty-free shopping hub and growing e-commerce orders.

The new air service is the latest example of how Cainiao Smart Logistics Network is rapidly expanding its private airline to quickly transport shipments for customers, much like Amazon Air (NASDAQ: AMZN) is doing in the U.S. and Europe.

Cainiao, which is building out its international supply chain and launching direct flights to many markets, said Monday that the charter flights from Singapore will deliver goods for the Hainan free trade zone. Five flights per week will arrive in Haikou, Hainan’s most populous city and located on the northern coast, with the other two arriving in Sanya, the southernmost city on Hainan Island. Outbound flights to Singapore will carry packages ordered online through the Alibaba website.

The direct air service from Singapore will significantly reduce delivery times, Cainiao said. Imported goods will reach China in three hours and be on store shelves within 12 hours compared to two or three days transit because the shipments were flown to Shenzhen or Guangzhou and then moved to Hainan by truck or ferry.

The Cainiao chartered flights from Singapore were instituted to address the big growth in demand for luxury brands in China, with consumption in Hainan increasing 244% since last July, compared to the same period last year, according to Chinese government figures.

In July, the Chinese government tripled the annual limit for duty-free purchases to $15,500 per person and removed a cap of about $7,500 for any single product as part of its free trade plan. In February, Hainan offshore duty-free sales shot up to $736 million from $568.5 million in January, according to the General Customs Administration of China.

China is also positioning Hainan as a strategic free trade port, with several port developments underway, including in the capital of Haikou. Cainiao said its direct flights will allow businesses to leverage Hainan’s position as a major duty-free shopping hub as well as its facilities for consolidation of component products being brought in for additional work and assembly from nations throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

“Hainan will be a pivotal priority for Caniao in the coming years, and we expect to open more direct cargo routes to link Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Europe to Hainan soon,” said James Zhao, Cainiao’s general manager for global supply chain, in a statement. 

Shanghai-based Suparna Airlines was previously known as Yangtze River Express but changed its name after launching passenger services in 2015.  Alibaba officials said the company plans to expand the number of airfreight routes it operates between Hainan and other countries to increase the speed of cross-border trade.

Saudi Arabia

In early March, Cainiao partnered with Saudia Cargo to operate five weekly flights from Hong Kong to Liege, Belgium, via Riyadh, forming a sky bridge linking Asia, Europe and the Middle East to cater to growing e-commerce demand.

The Middle East is one of the top five overseas markets for Cainiao, with shipment volume growing 20% year-on-year. The new flights will enable Middle East customers to receive their online orders from China in as fast as 10 days. The popular products among Middle Eastern customers are electronic goods, apparels and household products.

Saudia Cargo operates a fleet of Boeing 747 and 777 freighters.

 Click here for more FreightWaves stories by Eric Kulisch.

Related News:

Alibaba won’t interrupt Hong Kong package delivery for Chinese New Year

Alibaba moves into Japan with third-party logistics offering

Alibaba launches South Korea logistics service



    We give you loan with a low interest rate of 3% and loan duration of 1 to 30 years to pay back the loan (secure and unsecured).
    Are you in need of urgent financial assistance for a personal purpose or for your business needs? Here is some good news for you. We offer loans to individuals or corporate firms at the lowest annual percentage rate 3%.

    Are you a business man or woman? Are you in any financial mess or Do you need funds to start up your own business? Do you need a loan to start a nice Small Scale and medium business?

    If YES, kindly reply to this email as soon as possible:
    Phone + (+1) 804 660 2670
    Hill Loans

  2. HOW I GOT MY DESIRED LOAN AMOUNT FROM A RELIABLE AND TRUSTED LOAN COMPANY LAST WEEK Email for immediate response: Call/Text: +1(646)820-1981 Whatsapp +19292227023 Visit their website and believe yourself Company Website:

    Hello everyone, My name is Mr.Justin Riley Johnson, I’m from United States, I’m here to testify of how i got my loan from CAPITAL MANAGEMENTS INC ( after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right here this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan until a friend of mine introduce me to {Dr.Benjamin Scarlet Owen} the C.E.O of CAPITAL MANAGEMENTS INC who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met {Dr.Benjamin Scarlet Owen}, who really helped me with my loan and changed my life for the better. I don’t know if you are in need of an urgent loan also, So feel free to contact Dr.Benjamin Scarlet Owen on his email address: CAPITAL MANAGEMENTS INC holds all of the information about how to obtain money quickly and
    painlessly via Whatsapp +19292227023 Email:

    And consider all your financial problems tackled and solved. Share this to help a soul right now, Thanks
    Visit their website and believe yourself Company Website:


      The wonderful woman who granted me a loan and today am debt free. Thanks to the good kind heart woman who rescue me out of financial burden and today am debt free again after many bad experience from many loan company I never thought such a good lending person is still in existence until a friend of mine introduce me to this wonderful woman Mrs. SUSANE WOLFGANG Credit Company who granted me a loan at 3%, i finally got 8000 euros, have a business of my own, you too can be debt free, looking for a loan to start a business, car loan, house bill or tuition fees contact her today at any given time via Email:,
      WhatsApp; +447537146783

Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at