Shipping within a short time still be a challenge for people living in archipelagic country like Indonesia, especially in the rural areas with lack of infrastructure development. On the other hand, e-commerce keeps flourishing to provide shopping convenience that result in the surge of logistic demands.
Realizing the need to tackle this challenge, Chinese leading e-commerce JD.com had completed its first trial for drone shipping with an approval from the Indonesian government. On January 8, the drone flew from Jagabita Village to deliver donation of backpacks and books for students at MIS (Islamic Elementary School) Nurul Falah Leles in Parung Panjang, Bogor. Representatives from Ministry of Transportation, Civil Aviation and Air Navigation also attended the flight delivery trial.
China’s second largest e-commerce giant announced this successful test flight, deemed as a breakthrough for drone delivery in Southeast Asia, during the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
“We have been using drones for real deliveries in China for over two years now, and have seen the profound impact that the technology can have on people’s lives around the country. We look forward to working closely with WEF and the Indonesian government to realize the full potential of this technology, and provide more convenience to Indonesian citizens,” says Chief Strategy Officer JD.com Jon Liao in a press statement.
JD.com is partnering with JD.ID to bring its retail services to the country since 2016. The e-commerce claims to sell 1 million SKUs and serve more than 20 million consumers across archipelago. It also has 10 warehouses in seven islands to support its logistics network in Indonesia, which already covering 483 cities and 6,500 counties.
JD.ID aims to use drones for its regular delivery to cater challenging needs for logistic shipping in the Indonesia’s scattered islands. It sets a goal to deliver 85% of orders in the same or next day after it is placed.
In its homeland, JD.com had developed drone technology for logistic shipping since October 2015 through its JDX Innovation Lab and started the trial flights in June 2016. As of March last year, the company claims to have seven types of last-mile delivery drones and more than 100 drone routes in several provinces in China, as well 400 thousand minutes of flights accumulated.
JD is not the only company in the world that eyeing drones technology to help fulfilling logistic demand. Amazon, the biggest retail e-commerce in United Sates, is currently developing its Amazon Prime Air that aims to deliver package within 30 minutes or less using drone. However, no company has used this technology for commercial purpose since utilizing the unmanned aerial vehicles needs approval from the respective government.