JD Logistics United States, JD.com's North American logistics arm, recently announced the opening of its third self-operating warehouse and distribution centre in California.
The new warehouse, together with the company's other California warehouses, will grow the Chinese e-commerce footprint in the state to over 1.3 million square feet of warehousing space.
In its announcement, JD said its new warehouse provides omnichannel fulfilment services for both online and offline orders — utilizing cutting-edge technology in its supply chain operations.
"Demand has shifted from the major e-commerce platforms to smaller independent operators, which has led to fragmented supply chains, adding further complexity and challenges to supply chain management," said Gordon Lu, general manager of JD Logistics United States.
He noted that as more and more retailers are shifting from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce platforms, retailers continue to sell their products on multiple e-commerce platforms, which requires utilizing multiple warehouses to handle B2B and B2C orders, dramatically increasing their holding costs.
"This is a challenge JD Logistics is uniquely equipped to solve," Lu said.
JD Logistics noted that it is replicating elements of its logistics operation in China and bringing those capabilities to address supply chain challenges in North America.
This includes providing greater flexibility, inventory optimization, and storage cost reduction to retailers.
One of JD Logistics' warehouses in California utilizes a container transport unit (CTU) robot system.
Goods are delivered to the warehouse by trucks, where they're offloaded onto a network of automated conveyors and swiftly scanned, sorted, and stored by fast-moving, self-operating robots.
JD said this system allows warehouse employees to wait in designated working stations while the CTUs pick up and drop off goods.
Image scanners then check the packages in microseconds while JD's smart logistics system calculates where the packages should be dropped off.
The packages are then grouped by region into larger bins, which are picked up by forklifts and brought to the corresponding trucks for delivery to their final destination.
JD noted that its CTU system helped increase the number of storage units from 10,000 to 35,000 by making full use of the height of the warehouse and improved operating efficiency by 300%.
In addition to warehousing, JD Logistics United States noted that it is among the few third-party logistics companies to provide transfer, last-mile delivery, aftersales and maintenance, cross-border transportation, and other services in one stop.
JD Logistics warehouses in New Jersey, Georgia
In addition to its three California warehouses, JD Logistics United States also operates two warehouses in New Jersey and one in Georgia, enabling the company to deploy inventory across the country and ensure products are placed closer to end-consumers, further shortening delivery time.
"Two-to-three-day delivery currently covers 90% of our regions, and we're aiming to ensure two-day delivery across the entire country in the future," said Lu.
JD Logistics operates over 1,500 warehouses in China, and its international business operates approximately 90 bonded warehouses, international direct mail warehouses, and overseas warehouses globally, covering an aggregate gross floor area of approximately 900,000 square meters with an over 70% increase year-over-year.