ZTO Express: drones and writs flying

2016’s largest US Initial Public Offering, ZTO Express has announced that it has completed its first drone delivery. Meanwhile, connected to last year’s IPO, the firm is being sued for exaggerating its profits to bump up its share price.

The first drone delivery was completed in an industrial park in the Zhejiang Province of China. The drone flew 14km from a ZTO sorting facility in Le Qing county to the office building of an enterprise customer in an economic development park also in Le Qing.

The drone in question has a maximum range of 30km and is equipped with a 25 litre container. Its maximum payload is 10kg and it is programmed to fly to its destination with no human control.

“Drone delivery is an innovative new application of technology that we are developing to further optimize and increase the efficiency of last-mile delivery,” commented Meisong Lai , Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ZTO.

“This test successfully demonstrated that we can shave 60% off our traditional delivery times using drones. Using traditional ground transportation, this delivery would have taken approximately 50 minutes when taking traffic conditions, gate checks, wait times for elevators, etc., into consideration. We were able to do this in less than 20 minutes using a drone. We believe that drones can be best used for the delivery of parcels to rural areas in the future as they can improve accessibility, ease labor shortages, and reduce logistical costs and delivery time of the entire network.”

Writs flying too

Meanwhile, ZTO Express and the underwriters of the firm’s New York stock market listing is being sued by a Birmingham, Alabama pension fund, alleging it exaggerated its profit margins in an attempt to encourage investors to take part in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2016.

Reuters reports that the lawsuit was filed in the Alabama state court by the City of Birmingham’s pension fund.

Reuters added that a ZTO spokesperson had commented in an email: “We believe the claims are without merit and intend to defend ourselves vigorously.”

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