Hummingbirg, the logistics platform that powers Ele.me’s massive food delivery business, has been upgraded into a standalone business as it aims to provide services to more industries, 36Kr reports.
The move should intensify competition in what is already a heated space, including JD Logistics and SF Group. Last month, Ele.me rival Meituan also launched its own logistics brand after forging partnerships with Carrefour, food franchise CFB Group, fruit distributor Pagoda, online supermarket Dmall, and online pharmacy Dangdang.
Aside from being the backbone of the Ele.me food delivery network, Hummingbird is integrated more broadly with Alibaba’s infrastructure across its ‘new retail’ services—referring to the company’s efforts to unify online and offline shopping, from customer data to purchase to logistics, into a single value chain.
Thus the company already handles the distribution for thousands of large vendors and cooperates with Tmall to provide delivery services within a 3-kilometer radius to millions of mom-and-pop shops. Major clients include Starbucks, Decathlon, and Pagoda, and it also ensures the 24-hour medicine delivery for Ali Health and supports Alibaba’s Hema supermarkets in some regions as well.
Altogether, Hummingbird served more than 3.5 million merchants last year, fulfilling an average delivery time of fewer than 30 minutes, according to the company’s data. And it plans to expand capacity over the next three years by building an additional 20,000 logistics stations across China.
36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.