As the current COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai grows, JD Logistics has launched its autonomous delivery robots in the city’s Pudong New Area to provide contactless last mile delivery for certain locked down neighborhoods.
The robot applied in Shanghai can load up to 100 kilograms of goods and drive 80 kilograms per charge. With AI technology and multiple sensors, the robot can recognize, avoid obstacles, and plan its route to the destination.
Since 2020, JD has deployed its autonomous delivery vehicles for COVID-19 relief in Wuhan, Shijiazhuang, Guangzhou, Beijing, Tianjin, Shenzhen and now Shanghai. In Wuhan, the robots traveled over 6,800 kilometers and delivered more than 13,000 packages during the peak of the pandemic in early 2020. “Big White”, one of the robots used in Wuhan, is now a permanent collection of the National Museum of China in Beijing.
JD.com debuted its first autonomous delivery vehicle in 2016 and revealed the Level-4 autonomous driving robot in 2019, becoming the world’s first company to apply Level-4 autonomous driving technology on public roads without any human interaction.
So far, the company has applied nearly 400 autonomous delivery vehicles in more than 25 cities in China, meeting the delivery needs in scenarios such as residential compounds, commercial centers, business parks, hotels, university campuses, supermarkets and more.
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.