Chinese online retail giant JD.com recently launched its first self-operated charter flight in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. The largest online retailer in China has begun chartering cargo flights connecting its home country to Thailand. With this the Company is trying to mark the company’s strong effort in promoting cross-border trade.
The Company will operate three round-trip flights weekly between Shenzhen’s Bao’an International Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. The plan is to fulfill online orders involving shipments between the two countries within 48 hours. In Thailand JD has partnered with Central Group to run the online shopping platform JD Central.
“We see enormous potential in Southeast Asia, and this is just the first step,” Stard Huang, who heads JD’s international logistics business, said in a release.
JD mainly ships daily necessities and small household electronics from China to Thailand through JD Central. Shipments from Thailand to China consist largely of fresh produce and automotive parts, JD said during the announcement.
The travel restrictions caused by the pandemic have spurred enormous growth in cross-border trade within the e-commerce sector. Thai products sell remarkably well on JD.com and are hugely popular among the company’s over 500 million customers. Over 200 brands from Thailand including Smoothe, Poy Sian, Scotch, Veet joined the 618 Grand Promotion, with 260,000 durians sold. Sales of Thai herbal wax increased 9075% year-on-year in the first 10 days from June 1 to June 10. Rice, latex pillows, face masks, and bird’s nests also saw remarkable growth on the platform.
Minister Counsellor from the Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing, Sittikorn Chantadansuwan, claims that China has been Thailand’s largest trading partner for years. “We attach great importance to cross-border e-commerce to promote bilateral trade with China. JD.com is a leading platform that will help more Thai products reach Chinese customers.” Apparently, products from Thailand are among the most popular among Southeast Asian origins on JD’s cross-border e-commerce platform,” according to JD Worldwide’s senior manager of business development, Yao Li.
Since it was launched in 2018, the flagship store co-launched by JD.com and Central Group on JD Worldwide has seen an annual growth rate of over 50%. JD Central’s chief marketing officer Korlarp Sewacharangkul stated that the advantage of the company’s in-house logistics networks in both China (JD.com) and Thailand (JD Central) has led to 100% capacity in products shipped via air cargo since its inaugural flight.