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JD Logistics to invest in own airplane fleet

  • The company aims to have “no fewer than 100 planes” by 2030, including leased and jointly purchased aircraft
  • It has recently been awarded approval by the Civil Aviation Administration of China to operate its own airfreight business
  • The firm will invest massively in warehouses and high-tech automated logistics centers in North America and Europe

JD Logistics Inc., the logistics arm of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc., is planning to set up its own fleet of airplanes as the Chinese firm eyes a greater slice of a cross-border cargo market engulfed by global supply chain snarls.

In an exclusive online interview with Bloomberg, JD Logistics CEO Yu Yiu said the company aims to have “no fewer than 100 planes” by 2030, including leased and jointly purchased aircraft.

The company has recently been awarded approval by the Civil Aviation Administration of China to operate its own airfreight business, he said.

JD Logistics is currently operating air cargo routes including those from Shenzhen to Bangkok, Nanjing to Los Angeles, Shanghai to New York and Hefei to London. Besides self-operated air cargo routes, JD is also operating nearly a thousand cross-border transportation routes by sea, railway and truck, said the company in a release.

Yu believes that the current COVID-incurred shortage in global shipping and airfreight capacity will only be short term and that global trade flow will return to normal, as he noted that more and more companies are recovering and showing strong intention to sustain their cross-border business.

He said that in the next couple of years, the company will also make massive investments in warehouses and high-tech automated logistics centers in North America and Europe. “We can provide more support to Chinese sellers who want to do business abroad.”

In Yu’s remarks during the recent supply chain summit in Beijing, he stressed that the key goal of the company’s global expansion is to integrate supply chain solutions to bring down operating costs and improve efficiency for its partners outside China.

The company already operates a number of warehouses, including in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, and the Middle East. It said some of these warehouses incorporate highly automated technologies such as robots that can greatly improve workers’ product picking efficiency and smart inventory management technologies that allow sellers to holistically manage their products and supply them to different sales platforms and channels.

Photo from JD.com website

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