From E-commerce to Quick Commerce: 3PL Firms Adapt to Market Demands

The skyrocketing demand from platforms like Swiggy Instamart, Blinkit, and Zepto – promising lightning-fast deliveries – is now making traditional e-commerce fulfillment companies like Delhivery and Xpressbees shift gears.

Looking to capture the booming quick commerce market, many big 3PL players have been making shifts to their operating strategies. For instance, Delhivery, India’s largest 3PL player, has come to the forefront to manage large warehouses for Swiggy Instamart, supplying essential goods to smaller dark stores in cities. This partnership streamlines quick commerce logistics, allowing efficient handling of a wider product variety.

On a similar path, Xpressbees from Pune is entering the fray by leveraging their experience with e-commerce and direct-to-consumer brands, they’re in talks with various quick commerce players to expand their service offerings, including managing large-scale warehouse operations.

“The quick commerce boom presents a golden opportunity for both parties,” says an industry insider. Platforms need robust logistics infrastructure and expertise, while 3PL firms see a chance to expand their client base. Quick commerce companies are also revamping their warehouses to handle the increased volume and product diversity.

Quick commerce platforms are investing heavily in innovative technologies and customizing their dark stores, emphasizing their operational expertise. This approach allows them to maintain control while ensuring efficiency and compliance.

Despite the growing collaboration, some hurdles remain. Quick commerce companies often utilize a mix of dedicated and shared warehouses based on location and scale.

Mr. Ajay Rao, Founder & CEO of Emiza, explains the complexity of the quick commerce supply chain, highlighting the importance of mother hub warehouses located in every major city, segmented into types for FMCG and dry goods, fruits and vegetables, and temperature-controlled items like milk and liquids. He notes that the largest opportunities for 3PL providers lie in managing these mother warehouses due to their size and the rapid growth of quick commerce platforms.

However, the frequent replenishment needs in quick commerce make these companies highly attractive clients for 3PL providers.

The quick commerce market is projected for explosive growth, attracting major e-commerce players like Amazon and Flipkart. Delhivery’s CEO, Sahil Barua, however, emphasizes their focus on supporting established e-commerce giants with faster (2-4 hour) deliveries, rather than the ultra-fast model.

This strategic shift by 3PL companies promises to revolutionize the logistics landscape. By fostering innovation and efficiency, it will cater to the evolving needs of both consumers and quick commerce platforms.

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