As the festival season in October inches closer, logistics companies are ramping up hiring and increasing capacity. Leading logistics companies have hired gig workers, expanded capacity and also rolled out operations at new locations as they gear up for the sales.
While Ecom Express has launched a delivery partner programme, ‘Ecom Sanjeev’, to hire over 16,000 gig workers during the season to boost the company’s delivery capabilities, fourth-party logistics outfit Shyplite has added nine fulfilment centres across key metros, including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, and is also hiring for over 100 positions across verticals such as sales, servicing and operations.
“We are actively working towards meeting the rising demands of over 100,000 sellers on our platform and are aiming to expand into six more cities in the coming months.”~Sugam Jain, Founder and CEO, Shyplite
On the other hand, XpressBees has roped in 2,800 channel partners, 3,000 agents and also tied up with 2,000 stores, in anticipation of a surge in demand from smaller towns, shared Harshal Bhoi, Chief Business Officer, B2C, XpressBees.
Marketplaces are also following a similar suit. Walmart-owned Flipkart last month introduced three new fulfilment centres in Karnataka, which are expected to create 14,000 job opportunities. Amazon India launched its largest fulfilment centre, with a storage capacity of more than 2.4 million cubic feet, in Bengaluru last week.
The festival of Dussehra (October 14 this year) usually marks the onset of the festive season, which continues till Christmas and New Year across the country. E-commerce moghuls such as Flipkart and Amazon launch their sales events — Big Billion Days (BBD) and The Great Indian Festival — with much fanfare to mark the onset of festivities. Other vertical and horizontal marketplaces, too, launch festive sales during this period.
Flipkart will be hosting Big Billion Days from October 6-12 this year. And while Amazon is yet to announce dates for The Great Indian Festival, it usually launches the event around the same days as Flipkart’s BBD.
The previous year saw these companies rake in over $4 billion in sales during their flagship events, while registering a growth of 55 percent over the $2.7 billion clocked in 2019, revealed RedSeer Consulting. This year, however, growth will be lower because of last year’s larger base.
XpressBees expects a peak of 1.5 million shipments during the festive sales.
Given the heightened traction from tier II cities and beyond, as well as increased deployment of services by several retail and direct-to-consumer brands, T.A. Krishnan, Co-founder and CEO, Ecom Express, believes that a 70-80 percent increase in volumes is expected over last year.
On the other hand, Shyplite is expecting a 40-50 percent jump in orders during the season.
Third-party logistics players currently account for 0.85 billion e-commerce shipments out of the 3 billion shipments overall in India (in 2020), predicts RedSeer Consulting, and they are expected to fulfil 3 billion shipments by 2024.
Their share in the overall e-commerce market grew to 27 percent in 2020 from 22 percent due to a sudden spike in demand after Covid-19, especially for e-grocery and e-tailing, which could not be handled by captive logistics arms alone.
The sudden growth is expected to stabilise at 25 percent in the next four years, as revealed by the report. The remaining 73 percent is commanded by the captive arms of e-commerce companies. Flipkart and Amazon, through their respective logistics arms Ekart and ATS, have the largest share in this market, industry reports add.