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.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

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.

It nearly doubled last year's $38 billion, which was itself a record at the time.

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

Source: Alibaba

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

Source: BBC

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

It will delivery to 10,000 lockers, so buyers can pick up packages without human contact.

The Wuxi warehouse has 700 robot mail processors, called automated guided vehicles.

Source: CNBC

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

The robots work by picking up packages and moving them to another part of the warehouse, where they can be processed for delivery.

Cainiao also has delivery robots that can take local packages directly to customers' residences.

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

Source: Alibaba

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

JD was another e-commerce retailer participating in Singles Day.

JD's network of more than 730 warehouses was also swamped with deliveries after the shopping holiday.

Source: JD

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

Source: South China Morning Post

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.

Source: South China Morning Post

Alibaba's first delivery of Singles Day was a mosquito repellant, delivered to a customer in Sichuan province 11 minutes after it was ordered.

Source: South China Morning Post

Get the latest Alibaba stock price here.

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