Unilever has inked a logistics partnership deal with Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com to help the global consumer goods company expand its reach in China.
The deal will see Unilever brands such as Lipton, Vaseline, Clear, Lux and OMO use JD.com’s logistics network to distribute goods between warehouses and brick and mortar retail stores.
Prior to this deal, Unilever worked with logistic companies such as DHL for its China distribution.
The deal is the latest in a string of initiatives by JD.com as part of its Retail as a Service (RaaS) strategy, which aims to provide technology and infrastructure services to companies outside of its own e-commerce platforms.
It follows the launch of an open blockchain technology platform last week, to help provide customers with greater security, transparency and efficiencies.
JD signed a similar deal with French company Danone last year and also works with German dairy company Oldenburger to provide warehousing, transportation and inventory management software.
The deal will enable Unilever to leverage the logistics expertise from JD’s online business for its mostly offline sales channels in China and will enhance its localisation techniques. Organisations such as Unilever and P&G have been accused of struggling to connect with Chinese consumers due to a lack of local market knowledge.
Rohit Jawa, executive vice president of Unilever North Asia, said, “After working closely with JD as a retail partner, it’s clear that its logistics network and technology are unmatched. By opening that infrastructure to businesses outside of its own platform, JD will now help us bring our most popular products to the most hard-to-reach communities in China, securely and quickly.”
Zhenhui Wang, CEO of JD Logistics, added: “By investing in our own network and in innovations for e-commerce, JD has built one of the world’s most extensive and efficient supply chains. We believe in sharing our capabilities, because everyone, including consumers, will benefit from the transparency, speed and efficiency of modernized global commerce.”