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Rakuten and China's JD.com to tie up for unmanned delivery service in Japan

The Japan Times

Major Japanese and Chinese e-commerce companies Rakuten Inc. and JD.com Inc. said Thursday they will tie up and commercialize an unmanned delivery service in Japan to save the time, cost and labor involved in parcel shipments in the wake of the explosive growth of online shopping. Rakuten will employ JD.com's drones and unmanned ground vehicles, which the Chinese firm already operates in commercial services in its home country, as it prepares to introduce autonomous delivery in Japan. The Tokyo-based firm has been conducting experiments and trial services of autonomous parcel delivery since 2016, seeing it as an effective solution to the "last mile" issue of cutting the time and cost of shipping packages from transportation hubs to consumers' doors. JD.com, also known as Jingdong, launched the world's first commercial drone delivery in 2016 in China and is aiming to expand its service abroad. JD.com Vice President Xiao Jun said there are "many opportunities" in Japan for drone deliveries in mountainous areas and remote islands.


Rakuten and China's JD.com to tie up for unmanned delivery in Japan

The Japan Times

Major Japanese and Chinese e-commerce companies Rakuten Inc. and JD.com Inc. said Thursday they will tie up and commercialize an unmanned delivery service in Japan to save time, cost and labor of parcel shipments in the wake of the explosive growth of online shopping. Rakuten will employ drones and unmanned ground vehicles of JD.com, which already operates them in commercial services in China, as it prepares to introduce autonomous delivery in Japan. The Tokyo-based firm has been conducting experiments and trial services of autonomous parcel delivery since 2016, seeing it as an effective solution to the "last mile" issue of cutting the time and cost of shipping packages from transportation hubs to consumers' doors. JD.com, also known as Jingdong, launched the world's first commercial drone delivery in 2016 in China and is aiming to expand its service abroad. JD.com Vice President Xiao Jun said there are "many opportunities" in Japan for drone deliveries in mountainous areas and remote islands.


As e-commerce grows, companies seek best ways to get products to customers

#artificialintelligence

Alison Conway, associate professor at Grove School of Engineering at City College of New York, says growing demand for short delivery times has increased the number of neighborhood fulfillment centers, also known as microwarehouses, springing up, and that means more trucks rolling into cities. Then there's the fact that traditional parcel and e-commerce deliveries happen at different times of day. The streets in many urban areas have signs that allow for deliveries until midmorning. The streets then switch to metered parking. But e-commerce deliveries can happen on a different schedule, so there may be nowhere for delivery vehicles to park. "E-commerce has changed the spatial distribution of where [traditional parcel] vehicles need to park, and we are just starting to figure out what changes need to be made to the network," Conway said.


China's JD.com starts selling goods via Google: Report

ZDNet

JD.com, the second-largest online shopping platform in China, has started selling around 500 products on Google Express, the search giant's e-commerce platform . The online store operated by JD.com, called Joybuy, offers around 500 products. The products are mostly electronic devices, such as keyboards and battery chargers, and kitchen appliances, according to Chinese reports on Tuesday. "What we can share at this stage is that we are conducting test operations during this early phase," a JD.com spokeswoman in an email, according to Reuters. The move marks the first time the two companies have worked together since Google invested $550 million into JD.com last June.


DHL rolls out new same-day delivery service for online retailers

ZDNet

A decade after scaling back its US domestic delivery business, DHL is jumping back into the competitive space with a new service, called DHL Parcel Metro, that helps online retailers meet the growing demand for same-day and next-day deliveries. The Parcel Metro software platform taps a network of "crowd-sourced" drivers, DHL says, that can provide last-mile delivery in specific cities and regions. The local delivery vendors, DHL says, meet "rigorous quality standards" and are selected to ensure maximum capacity. The service offers an interface for shoppers, through which they can track shipments and leave special instructions for the courier. "Eighty-six percent of consumers associate delivery as part of their total online shopping experience, according to research, thus it's important for DHL to offer services that not only meet their needs, but do so in a highly consistent fashion," Lee Spratt, CEO, DHL eCommerce Americas, said in a statement.