Leading Chinese retailer JD.com has introduced a new ’faster than the sea and cheaper than air’ solution for retailers looking to get their products from most European markets into the hands of consumers in China. The first China Railway Express chock-full of JD-procured European goods completed its inaugural journey from Germany to China last week.
The freight left Hamburg, Germany to travel ten thousand kilometres to Shaanxi, the capital of central China’s province where JD operates one of a key distribution hubs for cross-border imports.
Freight carried on this inaugural journey included food and beverages, home furnishings, and automotive supplies. Many of the products are expected to be sold during JD’s forthcoming June 18th Anniversary Sales.
JD.com says that retailers using sea routes to deliver pan-European goods to the country waste up to 35 more days on the journey time in comparison with the China Railway Express train. The rail route makes its way through East Asia and Europe, via Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan to reach its final destination in China. This, it says, is 80% cheaper than air transport.
Another benefit of the service, says JD.com, is that retailers and vendors can take a break from the painful custom procedures, since JD handles every aspect of the freight process from the train station in Germany to the customers’ doorstep in China.
JD is now working on building out a transfer centre in Hamburg to extend this convenience to more merchants across Europe.
Moreover, the train functions as a ‘mobile warehouse’. As soon as goods are logged and loaded onto the train in Germany, they can immediately be listed for sale on JD.com’s ecommerce platform in China. This means that consumers can place orders for the products even while they’re in transit, shortening wait times for consumers while further reducing warehousing costs and increasing stock management efficiency for brands and retailers.
“At JD, logistics innovation and efficiency is all-important, because we know that speed, cost and choice are what matter most to our suppliers and our consumers," said Liu Han, the general manager of international supply chain at JD Logistics.
"Through our use of a train Germany to China fully dedicated to carrying goods destined for JD.com, we are dramatically reducing the time to market for European retailers and suppliers, and providing our consumers with even more product choices at cheaper prices."
He added: "With demand for imported European products soaring on JD, we expect to launch a regular service later this year, and we look forward to seeing this train make many more trips in the months and years ahead.”
Image courtesy of JD.com