Chinese retailer JD.com has partnered with Tianjin Air Cargo to ship goods on cargo aircraft as the e-commerce giant ramps up its logistics business.
The service will fly six round trips a week between Tianjin and Guangzhou using a Boeing 737 branded with the JD Logistics logo.
JD.com says the dedicated capacity will fulfil same-day and next-day orders nationwide, and will be used for JD’s growing logistics business, which includes business-to-business and parcel delivery throughout China.
The retailer says using cargo airfreight is more reliable than belly capacity on passenger aircraft as flight times can be adjusted according to industry demand.
JD.com and Tianjin Air Cargo will work closely to expand the service, with further routes planned between Northern and Southern China.
JD Logistics head of the express business unit, Hui Wang says: “We look forward to expanding our relationship with Tianjin Air Cargo in the coming months and we are sure that the resulting expedited delivery speeds will be welcomed by individual consumers as well as the businesses we work with as part of our Retail as a Service strategy.”
Tianjin Air Cargo chairman and president, Yi Zhang says: “This new service sets a new industry milestone. The combination of Tianjin Cargo’s breadth of experience in freight and JD’s expertise in supply chain makes this partnership a force to be reckoned with.
“As China’s largest retailer, online or offline, JD’s resources across the e-commerce and logistics industry will be of great assistance to our company’s development going forward.”
The partnership is the latest move by JD to open its technology and infrastructure to other companies and industries as part of its Retail as a Service strategy.
JD is using a variety of delivery methods to get goods to customers including drones, freight trains, unmanned delivery vehicles and high-speed rail.