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China's Shopping Extravaganza

Singles' Day on 11th November generates billions in sales with DB Subsidiary handling entire logistics for US fashion house and headcount increasing more than sixfold.

Chinese bargain hunters have the date marked in red in their diaries: On Singles‘ Day, 11.11.2015, prices are cut drastically and discounts of between 50 and 70 percent encourage millions to click and close an online deal. Traders expect sales to run into billions. The Chinese version of Valentine’s Day has meanwhile blossomed into the world’s largest online shopping day – and a day which confronts DB Schenker Logistics with immense challenges.

The Deutsche Bahn subsidiary in Shanghai is the sole provider of logistics services for various international brand names from the worlds of fashion, luxury goods and jewelry. The largest customer is a US fashion house. “Instead of the usual staff of 200, a good 1,300 employees are on duty on Singles’ Day and over the following days, working round the clock to process the high number of purchases. This compares with a headcount of just 700 in November 2014”, says Torben Kock, Vice President Global Retail at DB Schenker Logistics.

The critical preparatory phase of organizing additional packing stations and pick-up points for the trucks goes on for two months. “This year, we expect almost 1.5 million orders, which have to be processed within seven days”, says Kock. Online customers start clicking before daybreak and by seven in the morning, hundreds of thousands of orders have already been placed.

The orders are placed via Tmall, an internet platform that belongs to China’s internet giant Alibaba. Last year, Alibaba reported total orders worth an equivalent of 7.4 billion euros. Based on the findings of internet surveys, the pundits forecast new record figures in 2015.

DB Schenker Logistics has been active in China for decades and has a dense network of locations in all the key economic regions. In China, the network meanwhile covers 150 locations in 60 different cities and also includes 85 logistics centers with a total storage area of around 940,000 square meters. More than 5,000 DB Schenker employees in China work day in, day out to deliver comprehensive logistics solutions for customers the world over.

Last modified: 11.11.2015

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