The Chinese e-commerce giant’s logistics arm, Cainiao, this week announced the launch of a direct sea freight route between the mainland and South Korea.
The launch follows an almost 100 percent increase in parcel volume to Korea from Alibaba-owned marketplace AliExpress in the first half of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.
When the new route is launched, cargo ships will sail it six times a week; Korean shoppers will receive some AliExpress orders in three to five days and ships will arrive within 12 hours, cutting down shipping costs by up to 30 percent.
China was already Korea’s top import partner in 2019 according to Cainiao, making up a 22 percent share of imports worth $108 billion. Cosmetics and electronics are the most popular items, according to AliExpress.