Online shopping of goods still on the train to China

Chinese e-commerce company JD.com has invented a new solution to deliver their products faster. A train full of JD goods travels from Europe to China, while people in China can order the products still in that train online. The first China Railway Express has just completed its inaugural journey from Germany to China.

The train left Hamburg, Germany, and travelled 10,000 kilometre 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. The train journey in itself was a novelty, as this was the first time the company utilised an entire train for the cross-continental transport. According to the company, the train was “chock-full of the highest quality, JD-procured European products.”

Mobile warehouse

“Many of the products carried on this inaugural journey are expected to be sold during JD’s forthcoming June 18th Global Shopping Festival, one of the most important online sales events of the year in China”, JD.com writes on its weblog. JD.com expects to launch a regular service later this year in response to a rising demand for European products in China.

“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 are in transit, shortening wait times for consumers while further reducing warehousing costs and increasing stock management efficiency for brands and retailers”, the company commented.

More centres in the future

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. JD is also building a transfer center in Hamburg to extend the service to more merchants across Europe.

“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”, commented Liu Han, General Manager of International Supply chain at JD Logistics. “Through our use of a train from 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.”

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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