Inauguration of the Cainiao Network offices, the logistics branch of Alibaba, on 8 November at Liège Airport.
The inauguration took place in the presence of Jean-Luc Crucke, the Walloon Minister for Budget and Finances, Airports and Sports Infrastructure. Cainiao’s state-of-the-art e-hub offers Wallonia and Belgium a unique logistics platform. Cainiao has just completed construction of the first building and already employs more than 200 people.
Founded in 2013, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (‘Cainiao’) is a technology company and logistics subsidiary of the Alibaba Group. Its innovative and open data platform improves efficiency and the customer experience at every step in the supply chain. It pursues the goal of the Chinese Alibaba group, which consists of facilitating business relationships all over the world and aiming to deliver anywhere in China within 24 hours and worldwide within 72 hours.
Inaugurated in Grâce-Hollogne on 8 November in the presence of Minister Crucke, with the support of AWEX services, the platform offers incredible opportunities for commercial relations with China and the rest of the world. It is mainly favourable to Belgian traders, who now have a direct link to new markets available to them. The primary activities of the e-hub encompass the quick transfer of incoming and outgoing goods, depalletisation, the sorting of packages and the temporary storage of goods.
Measures to promote and prospect for Wallonia and its logistics infrastructures by means of logistics coordinators, specifically e-commerce in China, already started in 2012, with the initial participation of AWEX (recurring thereafter) in the China International Logistics Fair (CILF) in Shenzhen. Through their offices in China, the AWEX sales team has primarily focused on the new trend in e-commerce logistics. In early 2018, these initiatives resulted in Cainiao Smart Logistics Network visiting Liège. The official contract between CAINIAO and LIEGE AIRPORT, which designates Liège Airport as the company’s European hub, was signed on 5 December 2018.
Eric XU, Vice-President Cainiao Networks
‘Cainiao makes a point of operating as a full member of the local community and appreciates the welcome that AWEX has extended to it in recent years. We hope to further strengthen these bonds that connect Cainiao to every local stakeholder and are counting on your support.’
Cainiao selected Liège Airport, which ranks among the top cargo airports in the world. The airport in Liège was also named the best airport in Europe in 2021. The criteria selected by the Chinese company include its central location, efficient infrastructures, peerless logistics expertise and the exceptional talent pool in the region. In addition to the 200 jobs that have already been created, Cainiao aims to recruit 700 more people in the coming years. The company specifies that this refers to all kinds of profiles, from senior executives to front-line logistics handlers, and more.
Throughout the development of the project, AWEX and Liège Airport have supported and assisted the teams from Alibaba and Cainiao in their measures to set up, recruit and develop local partnerships and activities.