An Amazon warehouse (left); a JD warehouse (right). Photos: Rick T. Wilking/Getty; Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty

Amazon's move to slash free delivery times in half for Prime members — from 2 days to 1 — will squeeze American retailers, who are already scrambling to match it. But the e-commerce behemoth is still miles behind its Chinese rivals.

Why it matters: As we reported from China last summer, JD.com is already delivering 90% of its packages within 24 hours. Even 85% of packages shipped from abroad get to customers' doorsteps in a day. Last year, Alibaba said it will offer same-day delivery to all of China. Amazon is just catching up.

The backdrop: Part of why JD.com has been able to offer fast shipping is its logistics network — unlike anyone else in China, it controls the whole delivery process from warehouse to front door, across the country, relying on no other companies. Amazon continues to lean on UPS and USPS, in addition to its own vans and trucks.

  • What's next: Look for Amazon to significantly build out its own fleet, says Griffin Carlborg, an analyst with Gartner L2.

The big picture: In the U.S., "no one can match Amazon right now," Carlborg says.

  • It has money to spend: The company said it will lay out an immediate $800 million on added trucks, warehouses and employees — and it expects to keep spending more.
  • It has millions more products: While Walmart and Target, Amazon's top U.S. competitors, also offer fast shipping, their inventory eligible for quick delivery comes nowhere close to Amazon's 100 million available products, says Carlborg.

And Amazon's ambitions are bigger than what the Chinese companies have announced so far.

  • CFO Brian Olsavsky told analysts on Thursday that Amazon expects to take 1-day shipping to all of its international markets, including Brazil, China and India. For now, China's speeding shipping is primarily a domestic offering.
  • Worth noting: JD.com is aiming to offer same-day shipping for 85% of products in Indonesia, its next-biggest market. Flipkart, Amazon's chief rival in India, has same-day delivery in 10 cities.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
9 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
10 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!