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JD Logistics deploys autonomous shuttles, drones for last-mile deliveries in coronavirus quarantine zones

February 07, 2020 / Morgan Forde

JD Logistics is deploying delivery staff, autonomous shuttles and drones to deliver medical and commercial cargo throughout coronavirus quarantine zones in Wuhan and Hubei Province in China, the company said Thursday. Customers in the region have been ordering goods online as a means of minimizing human contact in stores, the company said in a release. As a result, the company's autonomous warehouses have fulfilled nearly double their usual number of daily orders, from 600,000 to 1 million between Jan. 24 and Feb. 2. In addition to running deliveries, the company has offered discounts and support services to 250,000 affected shippers on its platform including "expense reduction, financial and logistics support, traffic support, technical support [and] health protection." Those located in Hubei province specifically will be eligible to have one month service and operations fees waived, and additional insurance worth up to $42,885 (300,000 Chinese yuan).