Liu Qiangdong is a billionaire several times over after spending a lifetime as an internet entrepreneur. He has been ranked the 17th richest person in China and holds a rank of 77 among the richest people in the world. One of the business ventures that helped make him the wealthy self-made man that he is today was JD.com. That’s a business he still plays an active part in managing by making sure it stays relevant to an evolving commercial marketplace.
As countries around the world struggle with supply chain issues, Liu Qiangdong hopes to capitalize on this growing need through the resources he holds in JD.com. The plan is to buy a fleet of planes that can be used to overcome the supply chain issues faced by other logistics companies. Although the eCommerce company previously hired charter planes to transport their own goods, they plan to own a fleet of 100 planes or more before 2030. The news comes after the eCommerce company petitioned and won qualification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China. The newly acquired authorization gives JD.com the ability to open their own logistics and transportation company.
The backlog of exports that China has jamming up their ports has led many businesses to turn to air travel as a means of getting their products to overseas customers. This led to further supply chain issues as airlines struggled to keep up with the sudden demand for air cargo services. The problem has become further complicated as the winter holidays approach.
Another factor that has increased the demand for China’s products has been the lockdowns associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. As more businesses were forced to limit their services, customers of those businesses turned to online shopping options. This made overseas shipments that much more important since consumers now have greater access to the global marketplace. Between the pandemic, the approach of the holidays, and overrun shipping ports, it seems the vast majority of businesses are relying on air cargo services that aren’t equipped to handle the massive demand this situation has created.
This situation has created the ideal opportunity for JD Logistics to get into the air cargo transportation industry. While other eCommerce businesses, such as Amazon.com, are following the same business model, JD Logistics was among the first. The company earned $3.2 billion in capital upon issuing their first IPO and taking the company public.
JD Logistics isn’t just investing in an initial fleet of 100 planes. They’re also investing in overseas warehouses to store their products as a means of protecting against future supply chain issues. They will also implement automated delivery ports in cities throughout Europe and North America.
This isn’t the first time Liu Qiangdong has taken his business interests in a new direction. Having started with a computer programming job, he saved enough money to buy his first computer and mobile phone. From there, he invested in a number of business opportunities that helped him raise enough capital to start his own restaurant. His venture into food service was successful in the beginning, but experienced financial difficulties as the result of dishonest employees. He continued following his entrepreneurial dreams by holding down two separate positions as a customer service representative, taking short naps between answering calls. That level of dedication helped him raise the money to launch his own startup, which ultimately led him to becoming one of the wealthiest startup entrepreneurs in the world.
Since the internet entrepreneur didn’t give up, he was eventually able to form JD.com. This company grew to become a Chinese competitor to Amazon by offering high quality products at the lowest possible prices. Since its inception, the eCommerce company has become a proud member of the Fortune Global 500, giving it the prestige and recognition needed to branch out its services. Backed by that strong reputation and Qiangdong’s financing, JD Logistics is poised to become a leader in international air shipment services. If the promise shown by JD Logistics is any indication, air shipments may soon become a more reliable method for international trade. At the very least, companies like Mr. Qiangdong’s new venture will provide relief to an overburdened international shipping business.