Digital investment boost for key Pakistan cities

Digital investment boost for key Pakistan cities
A worker transfers packages at a delivery company in Hengyang in China's central Hunan province early on November 12, 2019. (AFP/File)
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Updated 16 October 2022

Digital investment boost for key Pakistan cities

Digital investment boost for key Pakistan cities
  • Alibaba logistics unit sets up South Asia’s first smart distribution centers

KARACHI: Pakistani e-commerce platform Daraz this week launched the country’s first automated smart distribution centers in Karachi and Lahore in collaboration with Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of China’s Alibaba Group, the first such set-up in South Asia.

Equipped with innovative smart technologies such as an automatic assembly line and a smart distribution set-up, the centers are the most technologically advanced logistics facilities in South Asia, and mark Cainiao’s first deeply integrated distribution center network in the region.

The two facilities span more than 50,000 sq m each, and have capacity to process 428,400 orders daily.

Cainiao has so far built hundreds of automated distribution centers of varying scales in China, and 10 smart distribution hubs across Europe, Asia and America.

Dr. Ding Hongwei, general manager of Cainiao Technology, said Pakistan had been selected as the first location in South Asia to set up smart distribution centers because of the potential of its digital sector.

“Our great confidence in the investment in Pakistan comes from its significant growth and high potential of the digital sector, and strong support from local government in infrastructure and policy as well,” Ding said.

“We constantly innovate our operations and technology in Pakistan to continue scaling and enhancing our customer experience,” Bjarke Mikkelsen, CEO and founder of Daraz Group, said at the launch ceremony earlier this week.

“Daraz is introducing smart technology in the country to bring more efficiency in our logistics,” said the CEO.

“Launching our centers in Karachi and Lahore is a key step of this partnership, and we look forward to growing it in future.”

Daraz officials said with the launch of the smart distribution centers, sorting capacity would increase manifold and manual errors would go down by more than 90 percent.

“This will benefit the entire business chain and improve the customer experience,” said Ahmed Tanveer, chief operating officer of Daraz Pakistan.

Pakistan’s e-commerce market is projected to generate $7.6 billion in revenue in 2022.

The market volume is projected to grow by $9.1 billion by 2025, according to Statista, a Germany-based provider of market and consumer data.