On May 7th, JD flew its first all-cargo aircraft, which is a dedicated freight Boeing 737-300F, from Shenzhen to Wuxi. The aircraft is branded with the JD Express logo. The initiative will enable JD to provide faster and more reliable delivery service to customers in the Yangtze River Delta and Great Bay Area. Customers who place orders in the afternoon can receive them the next morning, expanding coverage at this speed by 300% to 24 cities.
The all-cargo aircraft is based on a partnership between JD and Zhejiang Loong Airlines. The parties will target to fly six round trips a week, covering business-to-customer transportation and individual parcel delivery throughout China. JD also opened this service to third party merchants and partners beyond the JD platform.
The use of an all-cargo aircraft is more reliable and flexible than the common alternative of bellyhold capacity on civil passenger airlines because flight times can be adjusted according to industry demand. In full capacity, this aircraft can load 14 tons of goods, covering 130 cubic meters – 10 times the amount of bellyhold capacity on a single civil passenger aircraft.
The aircraft also addresses some of the challenges regarding air transportation resource availability during COVID-19.
JD has already partnered with industry-leading airlines, including China Southern Airlines, Air China Cargo, and China Eastern Airlines. Customers in over 120 cities can send parcels for delivery via air by JD. Covered areas have expanded from tier 1-2 markets to lower-tier markets, providing enterprises and individual customers a high-quality express delivery service.
Going forward, JD plans to open more all-cargo flights from Wuxi to Tianjin, stretching the service to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.