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Alibaba inks forwarding deal with WCA

Sellers using Alibaba will have direct access on the e-commerce marketplace platform to logistics services from qualified WCA member forwarders around the globe.

   The freight forwarder network WCA on Thursday said it has agreed a partnership with e-commerce marketplace Alibaba to offer sellers on the Alibaba platform access to logistics services from approved WCA members.
   The move is yet another by Alibaba to offer sellers on its marketplace direct links to freight transportation and logistics services. Alibaba, which offers manufacturers and distributors based in predominantly in China India, Pakistan, the United States and Thailand a global channel to sell direct customers, last week announced a partnership with Maersk Line to offer sellers direct booking access through its platform.
   One can view the tie-up with WCA as a sort counterweight to the Maersk-Alibaba arrangement. WCA is a huge global network of small regional forwarders that collectively help one another expand their global reach, alleviating the need for each forwarder to have physical offices and sales teams in multiple countries.
   The network, which collectively operate more than 6,000 offices in 189 countries, is designed to help members compete with larger multinational forwarders. The ability for these small forwarders to have access to Alibaba’s sellers opens up business opportunities with small businesses that might ordinarily be out of their reach.
   For Alibaba, the move signifies Alibaba’s growing presence as a facilitator of logistics services. The marketplace now offer sellers direct access to Maersk capacity but also forwarding services if they prefer that. Almost becoming an e-commerce 4PL.
   “We are committed to offering premium services to global SMEs on our platform who are looking to scale up their business presence through cross-border trading,” said Steve Su, director of Alibaba Logistics said:
   The collaboration starts this month, facilitating shipments generated by’s members to the United States, India and the U.K. Neither party specified what exact range of services might be directly available to sellers.
   “Many of our member companies are already heavily involved in many facets of cross-border e-commerce logistics,” said Dan March, WCA’s chief executive officer. “The strict qualification process for our newly-formed WCA e-commerce network will provide reassurance that the services provided by our members can facilitate merchants on to accelerate their global trading.”