K+N, JD.com launch import quality-control system

China’s largest e-commerce company by revenue, Beijing-based JD.com, is stepping-up its efforts to combat counterfeiting by testing a quality control check system, managed by Switzerland-based forwarder Kuehne + Nagel, that adds item-level visibility to JD’s import supply chain. The two companies have already implemented the ‘Transfer Center’ approach at a brand manufacturer’s warehouse in Japan, and could establish similar centers elsewhere.

Today, most imports moving into China on behalf of JD.com do not gain item-level visibility until after goods are received at a warehouse in mainland China. Although many of JD’s forwarding partners track shipments, and oversee quality control as goods move from origin warehouse to destination, the Transfer Center approach integrates these processes with JD.com’s internal warehouse management system. This in turn extends JD.com’s SKU-level visibility for imports all the way to the manufacturer’s warehouse.

The two companies have been working together for about twelve months to design and launch a solution that reduces the occurrence of damaged or expired imports arriving at JD’s warehouses in China. At the pilot Transfer Center in Japan, prior to export, a series of quality control checks are conducted, including cargo inspection, inventory count and a pallet packaging check.

Often referred to as “the Amazon of China”, most of JD.com’s retail transactions are fulfilled and delivered by the company itself, whereas Alibaba mainly processes sales by third-party merchants across its e-commerce marketplaces. JD maintains that direct control over its procurement and fulfillment process enables it to better regulate quality control of cross-border imports.

Looking ahead, Cargo Facts believes that, in an effort to expand end-to-end visibility from origin to destination, JD.com will ask its forwarding partners to integrate their IT systems with its own warehouse management system. K+N, for its part, says it looks forward to establishing other Transfer Centers around the globe.


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