Jun 2, 2020|

JD Opens First Automated Storage System for Bulky Items in Asia’s E-commerce Industry


by Ling Cao and Ella Kidron

JD has introduced the very first automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) for bulky items in Asia’s e-commerce industry, located at the company’s Asia No. 1 logistics park in Langfang, Hebei province. The park in Lanfang is one of three new highly automated Asia No. 1 parks JD has put into operation during this year’s 618 Grand Promotion.

With the automated AS/RS, automated storage and picking for items including furniture and home appliances is made possible at an efficiency three times that of traditional warehouses.

Data shows that from May 25th to date, even as outbound orders of air conditioners increased 300%, fulfillment efficiency in Beijing, Langfang and Baoding increased by around 15%.

JD has long been building up its bulky supply chain. With the company’s warehousing, delivery and installation services available all throughout China, JD’s Asia No.1 smart logistics parks have played a key role in ensuring efficiency and customer experience. Large volumes, heavy weights and inconsistent package sizes make bulky items logistics inherently challenging to automate as compared with standard size small items like cell phones, razors and snacks, while traditional bulky logistics place heavy demands on workers’ physical strength.

The AS/RS system at the warehouse can solve both problems. It consists of rows of steel shelves, and 10 stacker systems which travel freely among shelves to storage, inbound and picking. Every stacker is 22 meters high, which is more than twice the height of Optimus Prime in “Transformers” or slightly longer than the average bowling lane. There are tens of thousands of pallet positions and a high density pallet storage system, as well as combined cycle double depth stacker cranes, increasing storage efficiency by 150% as compared with traditional beam storage.

JD’s Langfang Asia No.1 logistics park is less than 55 kilometers from JD’s Daxing Asia No.1 logistics park in Beijing, and less than 100 kilometers from JD’s Tianjin Dongli Asia No.1 park. Together, the three smart parks can cover the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region as well as other cities in North China. Efficiency gained by these parks is extended nationwide, making fulfillment more efficient on the whole. In addition, the Langfang park is also a key step in JD’s technology penetration in lower tier markets, and it lays a solid foundation for express delivery to the countryside.


(ling.cao@jd.com; ella@jd.com)