Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding , has announced a new partnership with the German courier giant Deutsche Post DHL Group to build the largest network of delivery lockers in Poland, giving the Chinese tech giant a foothold in one of Europe’s fastest-growing e-commerce markets. Under the agreement signed with DHL eCommerce Solutions, the German firm’s division specialising in e-commerce logistics, the two companies will invest 60 million euros (US$64.75 million) to build parcel lockers across Poland and “improve the quality and speed of the country’s out-of-home delivery”, which has already tripled in the last three years, according to an announcement of the deal on Monday. DHL will also take an undisclosed stake in Cainiao’s Polish subsidiary as part of the deal, the companies said. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post. “Poland is one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in Europe, expected to double by 2027, and up to 40 per cent of consumers prefer to have shipments delivered to parcel lockers,” Pablo Ciano, CEO of DHL eCommerce Solutions, said in a statement. “In this way, we can provide our customers with an even greater shipping experience, on top of our existing to-door delivery options.” Cainiao pushes three-year ramp up in Brazil amid domestic slowdown Poland’s e-commerce market is projected to grow 13.7 per cent year on year to 124 billion Polish zloty (US$28.4 billion) this year, up from 109 billion Polish zloty last year, according to a report from Strategy & Polska, a unit of global accounting firm PwC. The report projects the market will reach 187 billion Polish zloty by 2027. Cainiao and DHL, which already operate a total of 1,200 parcel lockers in Poland, will merge their existing networks so consumers can more quickly benefit from the greater number of access points, the companies said. Based on DHL’s existing network of parcel shops and access points, the companies’ planned investment will focus on installing modern parcel lockers with user-friendly interfaces at key locations, they said. Cainiao said its ambition is to “build Poland’s leading parcel locker network” as part of what is already the largest such network operated by DHL in Europe, which currently has more than 90,000 access points. “As we tap into the great potential of Europe’s e-commerce market, Cainiao strives to contribute to the growth of a sustainable logistics ecosystem by deepening our cooperation with our local partners,” said William Xiong, Cainiao’s chief strategy officer and general manager for Europe and Southeast Asia. In recent years, Cainiao has sought to boost its presence in Europe, where it has set up a regional hub in Liege, Belgium. In 2021, it announced new sorting centres in Spain, France, Germany and Italy. In addition to Poland, the company also has parcel lockers set up in Spain and France. Cainiao has also been expanding in the Americas, where it has sorting centres in Mexico. Last year, the company unveiled a three-year development road map for Brazil that includes distribution centres and smart lockers.