Jun 17, 2018

The Chinese want their packages — now

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

World coronavirus updates: Spain's health care system overloaded

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Two planes carrying protective equipment arrived to restock Spain’s overloaded public health system on Wednesday as confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 and the nation saw its biggest death toll so far, Reuters reports.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 930,000 and the global death toll exceeded 46,000 on Wednesday night, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported more than 13,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 min ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 932,605 — Total deaths: 46,809 — Total recoveries: 193,177Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 213,372 — Total deaths: 4,757 — Total recoveries: 8,474Map.
  3. Business updates: Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus job crisis.
  4. World update: Spain’s confirmed cases surpassed 100,000, and the nation saw its biggest daily death toll so far. More than 500 people were reported dead within the last 24 hours in the U.K., per Johns Hopkins.
  5. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders — Michigan has more than 9,000 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,200 and 78 new deaths in 24 hours.
  6. Stock market updates: Stocks closed more than 4% lower on Wednesday, continuing a volatile stretch for the stock market amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  7. 1 future thing: Shifts to telemedicine, at-home diagnostics, and drone delivery are all likely lasting consequences from this pandemic.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases surpass 200,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Positive cases of the novel coronavirus passed 213,000 on Wednesday — nearly twice as many as Italy, per Johns Hopkins — as more state governors issued stay-at-home orders for Americans to curb infection.

The state of play: Trump administration officials are anonymously sounding the alarm that America's emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment is running dangerously low, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 mins ago - Health