JD.com launches start delivery depots

Chinese online retailer and logistics giant JD.com has opened two new ‘smart delivery’ depots in the cities of Changsha and Hohhot.

The JD.com depots are there to carry out R&D, testing and personnel training regarding last mile delivery. Core to the depots are the delivery robots that run out of them, serving the district around the depot.

The robots at the depots can carry up to 30 parcels the deliver them within a 5km radius of the station. Using AI they can plan routes, avoid obstacles and see traffic lights. According to a statement from JD.com, “Running at full capacity, the delivery stations, operating with a half-half split between robots and couriers, can deliver up to 2,000 packages a day.”

“As China’s largest retailer, JD is in the unique position of being able to research and develop, and commercially deploy, innovative new technology that is shaping the future of shopping worldwide,” said Chen Zhang, JD.com’s Chief Technology Officer.

“As JD opens its technology up to other companies and industries, the features that we’ve already rolled out in China from automated warehouses to virtual shopping are going to be enjoyed by consumers everywhere,” Zhang said, referring to the company’s Retail as a Service, or RaaS strategy.