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Coupang to invest 1.5 tn won in expanding logistics capacity

Coupang, a leading South Korean e-commerce operator, said Tuesday it will invest 1.5 trillion won ($1.32 billion) in expanding logistics capacity over the next three years to step up its same-day delivery service.

Coupang launched an ultra-fast delivery service called "Rocket Delivery" in March 2014 by establishing its own logistics system and employing couriers, joining the global wave of delivery wars led by online retail behemoth Amazon. 

The company said it has hired about 3,500 full-time delivery staff, mostly in their 20s and 30s, and built 14 logistics centers across the nation. Construction of two more facilities is currently under way.

Coupang said it will hire 40,000 staff in the delivery and logistics sector by 2017 and have 21 logistics centers across the nation.

"Once the logistics system is complete, Coupang will be able to deliver products within the day anywhere in the country," CEO Kim Bom said in a briefing. "Coupang will be able to overcome the limit of an online market operator."

After launching the accelerated delivery service, the five-year-old firm's mobile payment transactions more than doubled to 1.4 trillion won last year. In June, it drew $1 billion in investment from Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank Corp.

Coupang's 2014 sales jumped more than sevenfold on-year to 348.5 billion won, but a sizable spending increase in logistics widened its operating loss to 121.5 billion won, casting doubt over its long-term business outlook. (Yonhap)