JD has a new highly efficient and cost-effective answer for merchants looking to get their products from Europe into the hands of consumers in China – its own special freight train.
Faster than sea and cheaper than air, the first China Railway Express chock-full of the highest quality, JD-procured European products, completed its inaugural journey from Germany to China this week.
The train left Hamburg, Germany on April 26th traveled the 10,000km to Xi’an, the capital of central China’s Shaanxi province, where JD operates one of its most important distribution hubs for cross-border imports. By sea, the route traditionally favored by European producers to get their goods to China, the journey would have taken twice as long – up to 35 days.
The rail route is also 80% cheaper than air transport. While JD has long included rail freight as a transport option from Europe, this is the first time the company utilized an entire train.
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, one of the most important online sales events of the year in China.
Thanks to this new addition to JD.com’s sophisticated cross-border logistics network, the company can now ship goods from most European markets direct to consumers in China – creating significant cost savings for retailers and suppliers.
Since JD handles all customs procedures, retailers and suppliers also benefit from a “one-stop shop” service solution, with JD handling every aspect of the freight process from the train station in Germany to the consumer’s doorstep in China. JD is also building out a transfer center 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 e-commerce 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.
Liu Han, General Manager of International Supply chain, JD Logistics said:
“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. 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. 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.”
The train travels along a network of rail lines connecting East Asia and Europe, and passes through Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan before reaching its destination in China.