Since Jul. 22, JD’s self-developed logistics drone has been delivering emergency supplies in Xinxiang, a flood-stricken city in Henan province.
Chaokang Liu, a drone engineer from JD’s logistics innovation lab, JD-X, received the company’s call for an urgent trip to Henan.
Liu did not hesitate to make the decision to go, as his parents were survivors of the 1976 Tangshan earthquake which killed at least 242,000 people, and he wanted to give back to others.
Liu immediately packed his luggage and a last-mile delivery drone, which can lift 25 kilograms of goods, for the trip to Henan. He rode in a JD Logistics truck and traveled 10 hours from Xi’an, Shaanxi province, where his team is based.
As soon as he arrived, Liu received the request that 30 workers in Xinxiang were stranded in a factory park and were short of food. But successfully delivering the food to those workers would prove difficult.
After three hours of searching, Liu finally found a place from which the drone could take off. However, he had never used this drone at night time, as it is a newly developed model. Moreover, communications in Xinxiang were greatly affected by the flood, and he was afraid that the drone could not manage location tracking accurately. The food might not arrive at the rooftop and fall into the flood.
He decided to give a try anyway. “If you can save 30 people, it’s worth it, even if the drone crashes,” said Liu.
The drone took off—and soon after successfully landed on top of a truck in the factory, where the group of trapped workers were able to access the food supplies.
With Liu and JD’s drone, the group of workers finally got their meal for the day. Soon after that, they were rescued and transported to safety.
Liu said, “It’s my duty to rescue more people, and I’ll keep going on this journey with my drone.”
JD Logistics United States, JD.com’s North American logistics arm, recently announced the opening of its third self-operating warehouse and distribution center in California.
The new warehouse, together with the company’s No.1 and No.2 California warehouses, will create more than 300 local jobs while growing the JD.com’s footprint to over 1.3 million square feet of warehousing space throughout the state.
Joining the company’s best-in-class global logistics network, JD.com’s new warehouse provides omnichannel fulfillment services for both online and offline orders and is a testament to the company’s commitment to utilizing cutting-edge supply chain technology.
“Demand has shifted from the major e-commerce platforms to smaller independent operators, which has led to fragmented supply chains, adding further complexity and challenges to supply chain management, said Gordon Lu, General Manager of JD Logistics United States. “As more and more retailers are shifting from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce platforms, retailers continue to sell their products on multiple e-commerce platforms, which requires utilizing multiple warehouses to handle B2B and B2C orders, dramatically increasing their holding costs. This is a challenge JD Logistics is uniquely equipped to solve.”
In this new generation of fulfillment, JD Logistics is replicating elements of its world-class logistics operation in China and bringing those capabilities to address supply chain challenges in North America, Lu explained. This includes providing greater flexibility, inventory optimization, and storage cost reduction to retailers.
One of JD Logistics’ warehouses in California utilizes a container transport unit (CTU) robot system.
Goods are delivered to the warehouse by trucks, where they’re offloaded onto a network of automated conveyors and swiftly scanned, sorted, and stored by fast-moving, self-operating robots. This system allows warehouse employees to wait in designated working stations while the CTUs pick up and drop off goods. Image scanners check the packages in microseconds, while JD’s smart logistics system calculates where the packages should be dropped off. The packages are then grouped by region into larger bins, which are picked up by forklifts and brought to the corresponding trucks for delivery to their final destination.
JD.com’s CTU system helped increase the number of storage units from 10,000 to 35,000 by making full use of the height of the warehouse and improved operating efficiency by 300%.
In addition to warehousing, JD Logistics United States is among the few third-party logistics companies to provide transfer, last-mile delivery, aftersales and maintenance, cross-border transportation, and other services in one stop. JD Logistics’ industry-leading logistics automation capabilities also extend the order cut-off time from the industry average of 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, giving merchants who work with JD Logistics an extra hour each day to have their same-day orders processed for delivery.
In addition to its three California warehouses, JD Logistics United States also operates two warehouses in New Jersey and one in Georgia, enabling the company to deploy inventory across the country and ensure products are placed closer to end-consumers, further shortening delivery time.
“Two-to-three-day delivery currently covers 90% of our regions, and we’re aiming to ensure two-day delivery across the entire country in the future,” said Lu. “This will eliminate barriers in the supply chain and enable us to elevate the already best-in-class logistics services we provide to our customers.”
JD Logistics operates over 1,500 warehouses in China, and its international business operates approximately 90 bonded warehouses, international direct mail warehouses, and overseas warehouses globally, covering an aggregate gross floor area of approximately 900,000 square meters with an over 70 percent increase year-over-year.
JD Logistics has helped Anakku, a Malaysian baby and maternal brand, improve fulfillment efficiency by 30 percent with all orders fulfilled in 24 hours. The partnership started in August 2022, and JD Logistics has since provided warehousing and fulfillment services to over 1,000 Anakku stores throughout Malaysia.
JD Logistics currently runs self-operated and collaborative warehouses in Malaysia, offering services including B2B and B2C logistics, omni-channel fulfillment, goods return logistics, transportation and more.
Before cooperating with JD Logistics, Anakku faced challenges such as low warehousing accuracy, delivery inefficiency and unstable delivery time, etc. JD Logistics helped the brand develop a customized end-to-end supply chain solution that is based on in-depth research of Anakku’s overall goods volume, vehicles, personnel and other details. JD Logistics also helps manage 10+ transportation companies to monitor their delivery time, optimize the working efficiency and cut Anakku management costs. As a result, Anakku’s omni-channel orders in and around Kuala Lumpur can be delivered the next day, and the time used is less than 50 percent of the local average.
Ng Meng Guan, Chief Commercial Officer of Anakku, said, “We look forward to cooperating with JD Logistics deeper in supply chain collaborations beyond logistics services, and also developing in the Chinese market by leveraging their domestic supply chain capabilities. ”
Currently, JD Logistics’ international business operates approximately 90 bonded warehouses, international direct mail warehouses and overseas warehouses, covering an aggregate GFA of approximately 900,000 square meters with an over 70 percent increase year-over-year.