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JD.com begins tests of its first fully-automated sorting centre

JD.com, China’s largest retailer, is testing its first fully-automated sorting centre operated exclusively by robots and machinery.

Located in Kunshan, in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province, the sorting centre receives and sorts packages to be shipped off to local delivery stations. As JD.com’s customer base grows beyond its current 258.3 million users, the highly-efficient automated sorting facility will help the company continue to fulfill its promise of same- and next-day delivery to most of China’s population.

Once packages are taken off trucks at one side of the Kunshan facility, they’re loaded onto a complex network of automated machinery, where fast-moving, automated conveyors zip each box around. Image scanners can check the packages in microseconds, while JD’s smart logistics system calculates where the packages should be dropped off. The packages are grouped by region into large bins, which are picked up by driverless forklifts and brought to the corresponding truck for delivery to the right destination.

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