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WCA, Alibaba tie-up opens China to SME forwarders
12 Jan, 2017

Freight forwarding network WCA is set to collaborate with China’s Alibaba.com on cross-border ecommerce shipments in a tie-up that expands Alibaba’s international reach through an additional 6,300 logistics offices of small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) forwarders on the WCA roster worldwide. In return, WCA forwarders gain access to the Alibaba logistics platform for cross-border e-commerce shipments and a serious foothold in China.

WCA will vet and approve international logistics providers for quality and efficiency in logistics services for the customers of Alibaba. Approved providers will have full access to compete for logistics orders generated on the Alibaba.com platform.

“The fact that Alibaba.com has recognized the quality, global strength and professionalism of WCA and its members will open up vast new opportunities for business growth for independent freight forwarders,” said Dan March, WCA’s CEO.

After launching a dedicated e-commerce logistics network in mid-October last year, WCA saw more than 100 logistics companies apply for membership within the first month, indicating the level of interest in e-commerce among its forwarders. Called “WCA eCommerce,” the new network allows member companies to trade directly with each other, to build volumes and to strengthen business ties.

This year, WCA eCommerce plans to add benefits, including e-commerce shipment insurance, e-commerce-specific IT solutions, preferred rates on global and domestic last-mile and courier services, and regional e-commerce consolidation programs.

WCA started out as a network of independent freight forwarders that consolidated resources in 1998 to realize the sort of rates that their larger competitors can leverage through economies of scale. WCA currently has more than 6,000 member offices in 190 countries. Its latest effort to open the doors to e-commerce companies is a response to projections that 20 percent of freight forwarding will be driven by online activity by 2020.

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