JD Logistics lets the train take the strain

JD Logistics has announced it is to send certain same day or next day deliveries by train on the growing Chinese high speed passenger railway network.

Owned by JD.com, JD Logistics is the delivery arm of the retail giant.

The trial is to be piloted using the Beijing to Shanghai railway. Under the new system, a parcel will be delivered from the fulfilment centre to the train station where it is put in a secure compartment on the train. At the destination station a courier will take the parcel off the train and ultimately deliver it to the online shopper who bought it.

At the beginning of the pilot, JD Logistics have stated that the parcels being handled in this way will only be those of high value that aren’t kept in sufficient stock at regional distribution centres. This will be a ‘white glove’ service for luxury and high value goods.

One of the reasons that trains and not passenger aircraft are being used is that due to the busy Chinese airspace, aircraft rarely depart when they are supposed to. Even while the trains travel at 200km/h plus, they are still slower than airlines but they are always on schedule, meaning that the supply route is reliable and not down to unmanageable external factors.

There are said to be some moves to trying sending such goods by nighttime air freighter – which are on time. There are also moves by China Railway Corporation to send high speed freight trains on the new railway network which would compete with airlines for air freight space.

For now, those who make high value purchases from JD.com such as a Rolex watch may find that this is coming to them by JD Logistics via train in the near future.