Smart urban logistics institute explores the underground

Logistics firm JD.com is launching a new research centre in Xiongan, China, which will focus on developing an underground logistics system in smart cities in China.

Rapid urbanization in China is altering the environment, creating pollution and disrupting people’s lives. Urgent solutions are therefore needed for urban woes, including freight vehicles, which make an outsized contribution to urban traffic emissions and road traffic.

For this reason, logistics firm JD.com has announced the launch of the Urban Smart Logistics Institute in Xiongan, China, which will focus on designing a more efficient and environmentally friendly logistics framework in urban spaces.

The institute will look first at underground logistics systems, focusing on the use of subterranean tracks and integrated municipal pipe corridors. Calling the use of underground space an “industry game-changer”, the director of the Chinese Academy of Engineering Chen Xiangsheng said at the institute’s launch that such systems can “alleviate traffic problems, environmental problems and save urban space”.

His comments were echoed by Zhenhui Wang, CEO of JD Logistics, a business group of JD.com: “As China’s cities are developing faster and becoming more sophisticated, sustainable urban development is critical. Smart logistics ensures that space in cities is being used in the most efficient and least disruptive way possible.”

Founding members of the institute include Nankai University, the Institute of Comprehensive Transportation at the National Development and Reform Commission, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing Wuzi University, Shanghai Maritime University, Sinotrans & CSC and Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute.

Image credit: JD.com

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