After Delhi government announced a six-day long curfew in the capital, e-commerce player fear logistical issues, delay in fulfilment of order and mass cancelation of orders.
The latest guidelines issued by the Delhi government prohibits the movement of non-essential goods both inter-and-intra state, and only grants permission to delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through e-commerce as well as through stores.
The delhi government in a fresh order on Monday said, ““There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement / transportation of essential goods. No separate permission / e-pass will be required for such movements,”
While the essential services are exempted from the six-day long curfew, the move that prohibits the movement of non-essential goods has rattled e-commerce firms and large retailers.
Companies and trade bodies said the move could lead to logistical issues, delay in fulfilment of orders emerging from neighbouring states and burden warehousing capacities.
Online retailer Amazon on Monday requested the Delhi Government to allow delivery and inter and intra state movement of all products.
“Currently, we are enabling deliveries of essential products in line with new guidelines set by the Government. However, we have learnt from customers over the last one year that urgent needs vary across households and it is challenging to define a static essentials list. We request the Delhi Government to allow delivery and inter and intra state movement of all products to enable people to maintain social distancing norms. E-commerce is the safest way to serve consumers’ needs while supporting livelihoods of lakhs of small & medium businesses including the local shops,”An Amazon India spokesperson
With the strict guidelines and restricted movement of goods, online commerce firms said the move could lead to delay in orders and disrupt their logistics in parts of north India.
“Delhi government not allowing the intra and inter-city movement of non-essentials can cause a delay in orders and logistic disruptions for online deliveries in North India including neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and others. While delays can be managed for a week, since customers understand the situation, but any further extension of ban on non-essential movements can cause large-scale logistical disruptions,” said an e-commerce executive who didn’t want to be named.
The new guidelines are expected to put additional pressure on existing logistics infrastructure and warehouses in the union territory, as non-essential shipments, already in transit, get held up. This could lead to stock up in the warehouses and also cause issue in managing payments for orders already in transit.
As per reports, e-commerce firms are expected to make a representation through trade bodies Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), this week urging the Delhi government to allow the transit of non-essentials.
Earlier last week, r-commerce firms also met the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to discuss and seek guidance on issues related to allowing the movement of non-essentials.