JD.com signs cold-chain logistics deal with Japan’s Yamato Holdings

The vast size of the Chinese e-commerce market is about to join forces with the forwarding expertise of the Japanese logistics industry.

Chinese e-commerce company JD.com has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Yamato Holdings, a Japanese logistics company, to build a cold-chain logistics network in China. The alliance expands the scope of e-commerce in China, while underscoring the importance of freight forwarders in a sector where automation is threatening traditional roles.

The two companies will jointly develop and implement technologies for unmanned warehouses, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and big data technologies, according to JD.com.

Richard Liu, JD.com’s chairman and CEO, explained that, by expanding the cooperation between the two firms “into areas like cold-chain logistics, and leveraging Yamato’s reach into international markets beyond Japan, we are making it even easier for our international brand partners to sell to China and tap into JD’s base of 236.5 million active customers.”

The partnership will make it easier for JD.com to sell in-demand Japanese goods in the Chinese market, using Yamato’s logistics network. The Chinese retailer will also start exporting Japanese products to markets with Yamato.

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