26 Sept 2014
Brazil Opens Dedicated Alibaba Handling Facility in Hong Kong
New warehouse marks 400% surge in orders delivered to and from Brazil over last five years.
With e-commerce trade between Brazil and Hong Kong/Chinese mainland having apparently grown by 400% over the past five years, the Brazilian Post Service (Correios) is to establish new warehousing facilities in Hong Kong specifically to handle this increased volume. A huge proportion of this rise in traffic from Asia to Latin America is said to be down to a dramatic uptake in the use of Alibaba, the mainland-based e-commerce platform.
According to Alberto de Mello Mattos, Head of International Operations for the Brazilian Post Service, the Hong Kong warehouse will have two primary functions. Firstly, it will serve as a sales point for Brazilian goods, acting as storage facility for orders destined for China. This move will considerably reduce delivery time for mainland consumers. At present, this is more of a preparatory move as mainland consumers order comparatively few items from Brazil.
Of far more significance is the secondary purpose of the warehouse – as a site that will allow Chinese exporters to clear documentation and collect taxes before products are forwarded to Brazilian consumers.
In order to establish the new facility, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Alibaba and the Brazilian Postal Service. The agreement covers the sharing of information between the two bodies, with Alibaba providing data electronically regarding the relevant purchases and the taxes payable. This will ensure that Latin American purchasers are aware of any sum likely to be levied when initially agreeing to buy. A similar system is already in existence between Brazil and eBay, the US-based e-commerce giant.
Confirming the arrangement, a spokesman for Alibaba said: "This memorandum of understanding will make it easier for businesses and individuals in Brazil have access to our various platforms."
As of December last year, Alibaba had two million registered users in Brazil – an increase of 200% over the previous year. According to the group, Brazilian customers are among its most active users.
Marina Barros, Sao Paulo Consultant