(Yicai Global) Oct. 16 -- As many Chinese couriers have upped their prices in view of the upcoming Singles' Day, or 11.11, shopping festival, the logistics arm of online retailer JD.com Inc. [NASDAQ:JD] has ramped up the delivery subsidies it's offering to CNY2.1 billion (USD319 million) from CNY600 million.
The subsidies will be used to offer discounts on warehousing and distribution for merchants using the JD.com e-commerce platform, Sina Tech reported on Oct. 16. JD Logistics will also prepare temporary venues for merchants in 11 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, to provide 24-hour services and ensure storage and deliveries are not affected by the anticipated surge in sales nationwide.
This year, JD Logistics plans to add pre-packaging services for its best sellers in order to boost operational efficiency. JD.com will send on-site customer service specialists to merchants to help manage their orders in real time and quickly resolve any issues.
JD Logistics began operating as an independent department in April this year, offering integrated logistics services from factory to consumer for JD.com merchants and helping them to manage online and offline order channels using new technology, such as Big Data.
Singles' Day is an annual shopping festival celebrated on Nov. 11. Many online retailers slash prices on the day, which leads to a surge in sales for a several-day period and leads to courier companies' busiest time of the year.
Despite their rapid growth in turnover, China's delivery firms are still struggling to pull in big margins as the industry is fiercely competitive.