As China gears up for its version of Black Friday, robots are one way companies are revolutionising the logistics behind the annual online shopping extravaganza. Samantha Vadas reports.
Meet China's postmen of the future. These are the new faces of the country's delivery trade as shoppers get ready for the day that blows all other retail days out of the water. Alibaba's famous singles day is coming up on Saturday (November 10) and with around 1.5 billion parcels zipping across the country in 24 hours, new technology is being put to the test. At this warehouse in Shanghai - robots have been employed to carry up to a thousand kilos - While automated sorting lines have been brought in - to scan parcels and zip parcels into bags without people needed to shift them. From warehouses to the sky, robots are rapidly replacing human jobs in China. Many retailers are now throwing their money behind drones which they hope will one day carry out so-called last-mile deliveries, particularly in rural areas that are hard to reach. Western critics say many Chinese firms are just copying the likes of Amazon. But that's up for debate. Chinese industry executives say they're leapfrogging the U.S. retail giant, as they develop these technologies at a faster rate.