JD.com, a Chinese Amazon of sorts, launched its drone delivery service outside Suqian City, in East China's Jiangsu province. Co.Exist staffer Charlie Sorrel reports on the drones, which can carry parcels up to 33 lbs, from central depots to rural delivery depots.
While the house-calls are still made my people, these drones still equate to lower costs. According to Xinhua news the drones halve the cost of delivery to 7.6 U.S. cents:
Cost is the main driver here, as it is for Amazon and for Swiss Post. The last mile of a delivery is the most expensive, because it uses people to do the slow work of door-to-door service. Anything that can help bring down that cost is attractive to retailers, because pretty much the only thing online retailers compete on is price and convenience.