E-tailers have long been criticized for using too much packaging materials in their shipments to customers. Now, at least one China-based e-commerce giant is attempting to address the issue.
JD’s “green boxes,” made of recycled plastic materials, can be used about 10 times for small- and medium-sized parcel orders. The reusable box is optional for customers, but not mandated, but customers who do choose the recycled packaging are rewarded with JD’s “Jingdou” loyalty points, which can be exchanged for products on the website. The company said it expects to reduce the number of boxes used throughout its supply chain by 10 billion by 2020.
JD.com is expanding its reusable packaging program outside of its Chinese coastal launch-cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen – to now encompass Chengdu, more than 1,000 miles inland. It plans to add another five cities to the network by the end of this month and 10 more between November and the end of the year.
As Alibaba and JD.com compete for the region’s e-commerce demand, JD is laying plans to enhance its network. Last week, the company 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. It also launched a new research center in Xiongan, China, dedicated to developing “automation technology for urban logistics” earlier this month, which will explore the concept of underground logistics systems.