JD.com has launched a parcel delivery service in China, tapping its logistics network to support its foray into the lucrative market.
The e-commerce giant said Thursday its new service would enable consumers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou to send packages inter-city and across mainland China via the JD.com mobile app.
It said it planned to expand service options to include various delivery timing, including same-day or two-day delivery, and high-value items such as luxury products and high-end consumer electronics. The courier service also would eventually be available to any residential and business customer in mainland China.
According to JD.com, the new parcel delivery service would operate on the company's existing logistics network and supply chain management technology, which pledged to deliver more than 90 percent of orders either within the day or the following day.
Depending on the option selected, parcels would be delivered by high-speed rail or air. Customers would be able to schedule a pickup via the same JD.com app they used for their online purchases. They also could fix a pickup time using messaging and social network platform, WeChat.
JD Logistics CEO Wang Zhenhui said: "This marks the next step in leveraging the nationwide logistics network that JD has built over the past decade, to expand the range of services available to our users."
According to Apex Insight, the Asia-Pacific parcel delivery market was the largest by value last year, contributing 40 percent of the global market, which was worth US$350 billion.
China was the primary growth market, accounting for 60 percent of the region's overall value and chalking up 31.2 billion in volume in 2016, up more than 50 percent year-on-year. It also surpassed the US in terms of volume, although the latter remained the largest market in terms of value.
However, Apex Insight noted, China would outpace the US to become the largest parcel delivery market by value in 2019, with local online retail growth fuelling the sector.