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JD's white-glove delivery. Photo: Steve LeVine/Axios

A central feature of the future seems likely to be intolerance for the ticking second. That's according to JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce giant, which promises astonishing package delivery time.

By the numbers: The company says it makes 90% of Chinese deliveries within 24 hours, though 57% arrive within 12 hours — and you can also schedule delivery within 30 minutes. Even 85% of goods shipped from abroad are delivered in a day.

How it does it — and why: Apart from JD, China has no national courier company like FedEx or UPS. China's other e-commerce companies rely on dozens of disparate, disconnected local couriers.

  • JD founder Richard Liu says fast delivery is a compulsory differentiator. In recent years, he has forgone most profit in order to build up JD's nationwide logistics system, including some 65,000 staff couriers who deliver on bicycles and in small vans.
  • In the future, JD says, customers will tolerate only reliable, ultra-fast delivery. And their definition of "ultra-fast" will become shorter and shorter.
  • For luxury items, an electric Geely vehicle tools up to your house delivering your package by a white-gloved courier wearing a tie as in the photo above.
  • Two years ago, JD spun off delivery into JD Logistics, allowing other companies to pay for the service.

Go deeper with a similar venture here at home: Amazon's next targets: FedEx and UPS.

Go deeper

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker