Beijing-based online retailer JD.com said it is considering incorporating a “FedEx style” parcel delivery service that would allow businesses and individuals in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to send parcels to locations in China using the firm’s app for same- or next-day delivery, Reuters reported.
JD’s fellow e-commerce juggernauts Alibaba and Amazon have also been investing in bringing more logistics services in-house, stepping away from the traditional business model of outsourcing to domestic third-party logistics companies and integrators – like China-based ZTO Express or YTO Express – or to U.S.-based FedEx and UPS.
As of now, neither JD.com nor Alibaba have their own-operated air fleets, like Amazon Air; both still utilize commercial and express carriers. However, JD has discussed potential participation with one of the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group’s air cargo carriers – detailed in our sister publication Cargo Facts in July.
Disregarding any speculation, it’s safe to say that JD plans to continue to widen its portfolio of logistics services in the coming years. This month, it launched a new research center in Xiongan, China, dedicated to developing “automation technology for urban logistics” in Chinese cities, and is exploring the idea of underground – as in literally subterranean – logistics systems.
According to Reuters, JD.com said it “aims to eventually make residential and business deliveries for shippers from anywhere to anywhere within mainland China in the future.” Apparently, the sky is not the limit for the world’s e-commerce giants, and neither is the ground.