Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, the logistics arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has linked Latam Cargo to its partnership with Atlas Air to secure capacity and speed up connections into South America.
The Special Prorate Agreement (SPA), which allows two or more airlines to connect services, will see Cainiao link the services flown by Atlas Air from Asia to Santiago and Sao Paulo with LATAM’s flights to Lima and Bogota.
Beginning last November, Atlas Air started operating three weekly charter flights dedicated to Cainiao, linking China with Brazil and Chile.
“The pandemic has resulted in a shortage of cargo flights from China to South America, and our collaboration with Atlas Air and Latam can help meet the robust demand and raise logistics efficiency,” said William Xiong, Cainiao’s Chief Strategist and General Manager of Export Logistics. “This year, Cainiao plans to launch over 3,000 chartered flights to safeguard cross-border logistics and help Chinese merchants sell globally.”
The company pointed out that in March its parcel volumes to South America increased by 14% compared to that in February as global trade resumes, “driving up the demand for airfreight, which is almost returning to pre-pandemic levels”.
As well as securing capacity, Cainiao said the collaboration ensures that the time taken for customs clearance, repackaging, container change and temporary warehousing in Santiago or Sao Paulo can be reduced as parcels delivered by Atlas Air will be seamlessly transferred to Latam flights heading to Bogota and Lima, packed in the same container.
In March 2021, Cainiao partnered with Saudia Cargo to operate five weekly flights from Hong Kong to Liege in Belgium, with Riyadh city as a connection point. It also recently expanded its network in Southeast Asia through a deal with Hong Kong Air Cargo.