Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has launched chartered cargo flights between Shenzhen and Bangkok to ensure deliveries within 48 hours as it aims to capitalise on growing cross-border e-commerce.
“The new charter flight is our first in Asia-Pacific. We see enormous potential in Southeast Asia and this is just the first step,” Stard Huang, head of JD’s international logistics business, told the Bangkok Post.
The flight operates between Shenzhen Bao’an airport and Suvarnabhumi airport three times a week, with a same-day return.
The move aims to not only increase the speed of cross-border freight, but also support the development of cross-border business through both Thai and Chinese e-commerce channels, including JD.com and JD’s joint venture in Thailand, JD Central, he said.
This route facilitates delivery of goods from China to Thailand and vice versa within 48 hours, said Mr Huang.
“We are mainly providing logistics services and building our logistics capabilities. For the next step, there might be an opportunity to connect the logistics service with our e-commerce platforms, providing a more comprehensive service to our clients and customers,” he said.
The main exports from China are e-commerce goods and consumer electronics products, while imports from Thailand are fruit, fresh food and seafood, said Mr Huang.
“Our e-commerce platform found Thai products such as coconut water, soy milk and Tao Kae Noi seaweed are popular with Chinese consumers,” he said.
Korlarp Suwacharangkul, chief marketing officer of JD Central, said JD and JD Central plan to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to build business opportunities between China and Thailand.
“We’ve seen cross-border e-commerce between the two countries has huge potential for expansion,” he said.
Goods exported from China to Thailand using JD are expected to include daily necessities, small household appliances, electronics products and other e-commerce goods, while those from Thailand mainly comprise fresh produce and industrial products such as auto parts.
The trading volume between Thailand and China reached US$80 billion (2.5 trillion baht) in 2020, up 0.21% year-on-year.
Thailand’s exports to China reached almost $30 billion in 2020, up 2% year-on-year. Thailand’s imports from China totalled almost $50 billion, down 0.83% last year.
The top exports to China were tapioca products, rubber products, computers and parts, and fresh and dried fruit. The major imports from China were electrical machinery, machinery and parts, as well as home appliances.