JD.com on the Cutting Edge of Delivery Technology in China

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Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com is working feverishly to realize customers’ desires for getting their online orders delivered when, where and how they want them, rolling out new technology to help conquer the last mile and go head-to-head with main rival Alibaba Group.

“We are the biggest retail logistics provider in the world,” boasted Harlan Bratcher, Global Business Development Head, JD Fashion for JD.com at NRF 2019.

Bratcher said JD.com has more than 100 drone bases and 7,000 delivery centers in China, as well as a growing army of autonomous delivery vehicles. The company’s logistics ambitions are limited to its home country, for now, although it has struck a partnership with Google Shopping to go after U.S. consumers. Google bought a $550 million stake in JD.com in 2018.

JD.com is now testing drone delivery in Indonesia as its first overseas pilot, according to TechCrunch. The company recently gained a regional operating license to fly drones in China. The company completed its first government approved drone delivery in Indonesia in early January.

Other JD.com logistics and delivery innovations include self-driving trucks, automated warehouses and unmanned physical stores, according to TechCrunch.

Bratcher said JD.com is hyper-focused on its “2/11 Promise,” meaning any order placed before 11 a.m. is guaranteed to arrive before 11 p.m. the same day.

“That promise is accurate 90% of the time,” Bratcher said. “That is extraordinary, that doesn’t happen anywhere in the world by anyone.”

JD.com also offers a white glove delivery option for bulkier items, JD Luxury Express, to top-tier cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu, in less than two hours. It is in fact a literal white glove service, with delivery personnel coming to residences in a black suit with white gloves and rolling up in a black car.


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