JD.com partners with Rakuten to expand its Drone Delivery Service

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In a bid to expand its drone delivery service, Chinese online retailer JD.com is spreading wings to Japan. The Japanese e-commerce giant, Rakuten has entered into a partnership with JD. With this partnership, JD’s drones and unmanned aerial vehicles will become a part of the Japanese’s e-commerce giant’s unmanned delivery service capabilities.

Dating back to 2015, this is when JD began the development of its drone program. Moving ahead in the initiative, after having operated in its native China for a number of years, JD has wider expansion plans. The company recently earned a license to expand services at a regional level. JD is the only company in China that has earned a regional license to use drones for logistics. Apart from drones, a slew of JD’s human-less services include self-operating trucks, unmanned stores, and automated warehouses. While in expansion mode, JD recently chose Indonesia to offer its first drone pilot overseas.

Veteran in IT, Rakuten’s presence in Human-less Services relatively new

Meanwhile, Rakuten’s presence in human-less services is relatively new. The Japanese e-commerce giant commenced drone delivery in Japan in 2016, and commenced trials for unmanned vehicles in 2018. Nevertheless, to its credit, Rakuten is a veteran in the commerce and IT space with over 20 years of presence.

With the intent to acquire robust human-less service capabilities, Rakuten displays high hopes with this partnership. To JD’s credibility, the Chinese e-commerce giant has racked up 400,000 minutes of human-less flight delivery time. Rakuten believes the partnership will stimulate its efforts for the development and commercialization of human-free last-mile delivery pursuits.

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