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Alibaba's Singles Day is over. Now comes the task of delivering $74 billion of merchandise ordered on world's largest shopping holiday.

Alibaba's Singles Day is over. Now comes the task of delivering $74 billion of merchandise ordered on world's largest shopping holiday.
  • Alibaba said it passed $74 billion in sales on Singles Day this year.
  • The major shopping holiday is usually bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
  • The biggest shopping day in the world leads to a massive logistics operation involving millions of people.

Alibaba's Singles Day sales were over $74 billion, the Chinese retail giant reported shortly after midnight local time, which translates into a massive logistics operation for delivery.

Read more: Here's how Alibaba is growing the global reach of Singles' Day with help from US brands like Allbirds and Fender

Singles Day on November 11, or Double 11, is a Chinese shopping holiday started by online retailer Alibaba. Sales each year surpass Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, making it the world's single largest shopping event. Photos from last year showed the "chaos" of delivering $38 billion worth of goods, and this year looks to be an even larger operation.

Take a look.

This year, Alibaba expanded Singles Day to four days, and smashed previous records with over $74 billion in sales.

This year, Alibaba expanded Singles Day to four days, and smashed previous records with over $74 billion in sales.
Mail pickup point Beijing. AP Photo/Andy Wong
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It nearly doubled last year's $38 billion, which was itself a record at the time.

It nearly doubled last year's $38 billion, which was itself a record at the time.
Mail pickup point Beijing. AP Photo/Andy Wong
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Cainiao is Alibaba's logistics arm, and for Singles Day 2019 it processed 1.3 billion orders.

Cainiao is Alibaba's logistics arm, and for Singles Day 2019 it processed 1.3 billion orders.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Source: Alibaba

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This year, Cainiao prepared more than 3,000 charter flights and ships to deliver goods within China, according to BBC.

This year, Cainiao prepared more than 3,000 charter flights and ships to deliver goods within China, according to BBC.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Source: BBC

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Three million people will be involved in processing and shipping orders at warehouses and ports.

Three million people will be involved in processing and shipping orders at warehouses and ports.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters
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It will delivery to 10,000 lockers, so buyers can pick up packages without human contact.

It will delivery to 10,000 lockers, so buyers can pick up packages without human contact.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters
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The Wuxi warehouse has 700 robot mail processors, called automated guided vehicles.

The Wuxi warehouse has 700 robot mail processors, called automated guided vehicles.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Source: CNBC

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The company first introduced the robots in 2018, and says it has significantly saved time in the warehouse, according to CNBC.

The company first introduced the robots in 2018, and says it has significantly saved time in the warehouse, according to CNBC.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters
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The robots work by picking up packages and moving them to another part of the warehouse, where they can be processed for delivery.

The robots work by picking up packages and moving them to another part of the warehouse, where they can be processed for delivery.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters
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Cainiao also has delivery robots that can take local packages directly to customers' residences.

Cainiao also has delivery robots that can take local packages directly to customers' residences.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters
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Cainiao is emphasizing sustainability this year, and has almost reach 100% biodegradable packaging.

Cainiao is emphasizing sustainability this year, and has almost reach 100% biodegradable packaging.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters

Source: Alibaba

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It set up about 80,000 recycling stations around China to encourage customers to recycle packaging.

It set up about 80,000 recycling stations around China to encourage customers to recycle packaging.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters
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JD was another e-commerce retailer participating in Singles Day.

JD was another e-commerce retailer participating in Singles Day.
JD warehouse in Beijing. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
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JD's network of more than 730 warehouses was also swamped with deliveries after the shopping holiday.

JD's network of more than 730 warehouses was also swamped with deliveries after the shopping holiday.
JD warehouse in Beijing. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Source: JD

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Both companies boosted their logistics networks this year, and some customers received orders in only a few minutes.

Both companies boosted their logistics networks this year, and some customers received orders in only a few minutes.
Cainiao logistics in Wuxi. Reuters
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A JD customer in Heilongjiang province ordered a lipstick and received it only six minutes later, according to the company. It was JD's first Singles Day 2020 order.

A JD customer in Heilongjiang province ordered a lipstick and received it only six minutes later, according to the company. It was JD's first Singles Day 2020 order.
JD warehouse in Beijing. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
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Alibaba's first delivery of Singles Day was a mosquito repellant, delivered to a customer in Sichuan province 11 minutes after it was ordered.

Alibaba's first delivery of Singles Day was a mosquito repellant, delivered to a customer in Sichuan province 11 minutes after it was ordered.
JD warehouse in Beijing. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
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