Alibaba’s Singles Day is over. Now comes the task of delivering $74 billion of merchandise ordered on world’s largest shopping holiday.

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Mail pickup point Beijing. AP Photo/Andy Wong
  • Alibaba said it passed $US74 billion in sales on Singles Day this year.
  • The major shopping holiday is usually bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
  • The biggest shopping day in the world leads to a massive logistics operation involving millions of people.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Alibaba’s Singles Day sales were over $US74 billion, the Chinese retail giant reported shortly after midnight local time, which translates into a massive logistics operation for delivery.


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Singles Day on November 11, or Double 11, is a Chinese shopping holiday started by online retailer Alibaba. Sales each year surpass Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, making it the world’s single largest shopping event. Photos from last year showed the “chaos” of delivering $US38 billion worth of goods, and this year looks to be an even larger operation.

Take a look.


This year, Alibaba expanded Singles Day to four days, and smashed previous records with over $US74 billion in sales.

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Mail pickup point Beijing. AP Photo/Andy Wong

It nearly doubled last year’s $US38 billion, which was itself a record at the time.

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Mail pickup point Beijing. AP Photo/Andy Wong

Cainiao is Alibaba’s logistics arm, and for Singles Day 2019 it processed 1.3 billion orders.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Source: Alibaba


This year, Cainiao prepared more than 3,000 charter flights and ships to deliver goods within China, according to BBC.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Source: BBC


Three million people will be involved in processing and shipping orders at warehouses and ports.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

It will delivery to 10,000 lockers, so buyers can pick up packages without human contact.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

The Wuxi warehouse has 700 robot mail processors, called automated guided vehicles.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Source: CNBC


The company first introduced the robots in 2018, and says it has significantly saved time in the warehouse, according to CNBC.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

The robots work by picking up packages and moving them to another part of the warehouse, where they can be processed for delivery.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Cainiao also has delivery robots that can take local packages directly to customers’ residences.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Cainiao is emphasising sustainability this year, and has almost reach 100% biodegradable packaging.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Source: Alibaba


It set up about 80,000 recycling stations around China to encourage customers to recycle packaging.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

JD was another e-commerce retailer participating in Singles Day.

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JD warehouse in Beijing. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

JD’s network of more than 730 warehouses was also swamped with deliveries after the shopping holiday.

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JD warehouse in Beijing. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Source: JD


Both companies boosted their logistics networks this year, and some customers received orders in only a few minutes.

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Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Source: South China Morning Post


A JD customer in Heilongjiang province ordered a lipstick and received it only six minutes later, according to the company. It was JD’s first Singles Day 2020 order.

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JD warehouse in Beijing. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Source: South China Morning Post


Alibaba’s first delivery of Singles Day was a mosquito repellant, delivered to a customer in Sichuan province 11 minutes after it was ordered.

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JD warehouse in Beijing. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Source: South China Morning Post