This move, following the e-tailer's recently announced alliance with China's Inspection and Quarantine Association to expedite customs clearance for imports into China, suggests an ongoing effort from JD.com to utilize "smart" logistics developments to compete for market share with Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba.
The Kunshan sorting center is completely automated — from parcel selection and sorting to loading and unloading trucks, using automated, guided vehicles, ChinaDaily reported. Current sorting capacity is as high as 9,000 parcels per hour, and could be increased by four times that rate, the article stated.
Implementing automated systems via artificial intelligence (A.I.) algorithms and robots “greatly improves operation efficiency,” JD Logistics’ head of research and development Cheng Yan told Air Cargo World. “Our robots can pick at five to six times the speed of manual picking, reaching as many as 3,600 picks per hour.” JD.com’s automated guided vehicles also increase efficiency as they “automatically figure out when more efficient routes are available, and map them out on their own.”
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