JD.com has partnered with Tianjin Air Cargo, a unit of HNA Group, to ship goods on a dedicated all-cargo aircraft as the e-commerce giant ramps up its logistics business.
The new service will fly six round trips a week and use a dedicated freight Boeing 737 aircraft branded with the JD Logistics logo. Transportation and delivery between Tianjin and Guangzhou will be faster than when JD relied on shared aircrafts and ground transportation. With more, dedicated capacity, JD will be able to continue its unparalleled service of delivering orders same- or next-day, nationwide. The aircraft will also be used for JD’s growing logistics business, which includes business-to-business transportation and individual parcel delivery throughout China.
The use of an all-cargo aircraft in air freight is more reliable than the common alternative of bellyhold capacity on civil passenger airlines because flight times can be adjusted according to industry demand, as opposed to having to comply with commercial airline schedules. JD and Tianjin Air Cargo will be looking closely at how to expand the new service, with further routes planned between Northern and Southern China.
The partnership is the latest move by JD to ramp up its abilities to open its technology and infrastructure to other companies and industries, part of its “Retail as a Service,” or RaaS, strategy. JD’s unrivalled guarantee of same or next day delivery for 90% of orders is a key reason why millions of consumers flock to the platform every day. JD uses a wide variety of delivery methods to get goods to customers at such a high level of convenience, including drones, freight trains, unmanned delivery vehicles and high-speed rail.