Since its foundation in 2020, YunExpress Europe, the European headquarters of YunExpress and the leading global cross-border e-commerce logistics provider that focuses on European markets, has started providing services in over 30 European countries and established subsidiaries in 21 among them. These achievements would not be possible without the effort and commitment of our great local teams. In this series of stories, we would like to share insights into our business operation and how we develop along with it.
In this fifth story of the series, we shed our light on YunExpress Belgium by inviting the General Manager of Benelux, Chaohu Zhou, to share her business development journey in the Belgian market.
Chaohu Zhou, an expert with 10-year working experience in the airfreight logistics sector, is now in full responsibility for the strategic development in the Benelux region, including the inbound and outbound logistics, and connections amount our air gateway of Schiphol Airport, Maastricht airport, and Liege Airport. “At YunExpress, our goal is to integrate into the local business community and help the cross-border e-commerce logistics industry mature and diverse. We are not going to develop a Chinese hereditary enterprise that enters the Belgian market as an outsider.”
Holding such initial intention, YunExpress launched the Belgium branch in Liege in November 2020, with a warehouse of 5,500 square meters and more than 10 full-time employees. The warehouse is operated 24/7, with an average of 20-30 truckloads per day in circulation, providing various services to e-commerce retailers, such as DDP Customs Clearance, parcel return services, and freight forwarding. Within the first year, YunExpress has set up the transportation network from Belgium to the other 30 European countries to provide comprehensive, reliable, and efficient logistics services in Europe and beyond.
“YunExpress Belgium locates at the gateway to the world.” Says Zhou, “More specifically, Liege Airport allows us to reach nearly 400 million European consumers every day. We are at the heart of Europe.”
As is acknowledged, Liege lies in the centre of the Golden Triangle formed by Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam, with an unparalleled density in trade and production in Europe, through which transits 66% of all European freight. Apart from this, the well-established airport infrastructure is tailored for the logistics industry, as the 3,700-meter-long runway enables full-load landing and take-off for all types of aircraft. Moreover, a variety of import and export facilities are beneficial for speeding up cargo handling and transportation processes, such as the sensitive product handling centre and the border inspection post.
Although it has been only one year of presence, YunExpress has already developed long-term strategic planning in the Belgian market. Zhou states, “Benefiting from the rising e-commerce business and digitalized consumer behaviour brought by the pandemic in Europe, we are confident of grasping these opportunities with our decades of expertise and experience in the cross-border e-commerce logistics segment.”
Remarkably, YunExpress Belgium has demonstrated significant strengths in several aspects.
On the one hand, YunExpress Belgium provides customers with efficient and timeless services. “We are constantly optimizing the process of unloading, unpacking, sorting, crating, and handling. We are committed to providing supreme services beyond the European standard, by refining each step of an operational process.” Zhou introduced.
“Take the handling time as an example. It used to take 48 hours for a parcel to accomplish the entire process before being shipped to the next destination from our warehouse. Thanks to the exceptional facilities that are provided by Liege Airport, we have adjusted our operational process to a very efficient way: As soon as the cargo gets off the plane, our employees are allowed to access the runway pick up the cargo, and deliver them to the warehouse directly. Consequently, the operational time has been brought down to 36 hours, which is 25% less than the industry standard.”
On the other hand, YunExpress Belgium is flexible with logistics solutions by providing customized services according to the needs of clients.
Zhou explained “For example, we are innovative in the loading solutions. Typically, large boxes on the pallet are loaded onto the trucks by forklifts, while we have developed a way to break down the boxes into small parcels and load them onto trucks via conveyor belts. This adaption perfectly matches the requirement of the downstream sorting centres and reduces the workload of our last-mile delivery partners.”
“Likewise,” Zhou indicated, “By deploying a hybrid human resource management system, we are able to respond flexibly to the unique labour demand between peak and off-season. We have established long-term and stable cooperative relations with a local partner, who supports us with professional workers all year round. It guarantees the stability of our services even during the Christmas season.” This method not only avoids waste of labour resources, but also enhances the ability to respond to emergencies, and eventually brings a steady stream of employment opportunities to the Belgian market.
One determining factor of the success of the YunExpress BE is that it has quickly “blended” into the local logistic industrial community surroundings Liege Airport, from handling agencies, such as Aviapartner, BAS, SwissPort, WFS, and Challenge, to trucking agencies, such as Maycourier, euromex and viotrans, plus the Airport Administration Authority and local real estate developer Weerts.
“Speaking of local partnership, this is one of our core competences in the Belgian market.” Zhou stressed. “It was not easy for a foreign company to integrate into the local logistics Ecosystem; however, we managed it with trustworthy parties.”
Zhou further explained, “We are honored to cooperate with our business partners, who are experts in their own sectors with over years of experience and local know-how. Meanwhile, by witnessing our increasing cargo volumes and significant growth in the cross-border e-commerce traffic, they also admit our strengths and potentials, thus willing to provide high-standard services in assisting our business expansion.” Through efficient coordination with each business partner, YunExpress Belgium has combined all resources into the one-stop-shop type of product for our client.
Despite the leading position of YunExpress in the Chinese e-commerce logistics industry, YunExpress is still a fresh brand in Europe. It is undeniable that there is still a long way to go to further integrate into the Belgian market and bring impetus to the logistics industry.
Firstly, how to impose the brand into a trustworthy logistics provider is the key to success. “From on-road trucks to indoor warehouses, we maximize the brand identity by synchronizing the visual exposure. We are working on expanding press channels to further raise the brand awareness.” Zhou explained.
Secondly, YunExpress Belgium plans to launch a new collaborative project with Elogistic, the Fulfillment Business Group at Zongteng Group. Numerous racks have recently been set up in the Belgian warehouse shows the era of logistics and fulfillment integration is dawning. Such an exciting partnership enables e-commerce customers to exploit cargo storage in Belgium and ultimately benefit from this one-stop supply chain service.
Last but not the least, YunExpress Belgium aims to execute its (Global to Global) strategy with local Belgian business partners. Learning from advanced players, adapting to industry dynamics, and maintaining relationships with last-mile service providers are crucial for our business. Zhou added, “Currently we are still looking for local business partners, such as domestic e-commerce platforms or the local Belgian brands who want to expand their business globally. We are looking forward to a quick chat with any company that is interested in partnering with us.”
Interested in handling your parcels from Belgium to all over the world efficiently and reliably? Ready to boost your e-commerce success in Belgium? Please don’t hesitate to contact Chaohu Zhou via email@example.com.