TCIEXPRESS leads the way for express logistics in India

“We are certain that we will be able to maintain our position as the best and the most-trusted express delivery service in India.”

TCIEXPRESS has been growing rapidly with its wide distribution network locally and globally with its current 575 owned centres covering more than 40,000 locations. Known in the industry for on-time delivery services, TCIEXPRESS makes it a reality by following well-connected routes for prompt movement of cargo through its hub & spoke distribution model.

Chander Agarwal, Managing Director of TCIEXPRESS in an interview to Logistics Insider talks about how the express logistics industry is transforming at an unprecedented speed and the growing need for value-added services. He also gives us the inside scoop about how TCIEXPRESS has managed to stand strong on various parameters including cargo security and much more. Excerpts:

Express logistics has witnessed various trends over the past few years owing to a lot of different factors. What megatrends do you foresee in the express cargo industry in the next few years?

With the recent emergence of e-commerce and subsequent surge in consumer demands, the express logistics industry across the globe has undergone a transformation. The industry has witnessed several key trends in the past few years, steadily evolving from delivering parcels and documents to providing value-added services bolstered by the demands. From embracing alternate delivery methods, a shift to customer-centric functioning, and more emphasis on surface express to robust adoption of technology, remote accessibility, and regional expansion—several new trends have emerged in the express logistics industry.

In the next few years, several opportunities for express industry will be unlocked, propelled by key growth drivers like technology, e-commerce, infrastructure boost, and rise in demand from MSMEs. Moreover, a direct correlation between the growth of express industry and economic activity has been observed. Favourable infrastructural policies will also impact the trendsetting factors in this industry. Technology is one of the most major influencers of the sector currently, with Big Data, IoT, AI, Blockchain, AR, and drone delivery etc. set to address all the existing challenges, maximizing both efficiency as well as growth. All of these megatrends have the potential to elevate the significance of express logistics industry from a purely operational role to an increasingly strategic one, gradually transforming the entire logistics ecosystem.

There has been a paradigm shift in the ecommerce sector that has led to a boom in demand. How have you equipped yourself to deal with the growing demand?

The dynamic and highly competitive nature of the e-commerce sector has bolstered the demand for express logistics services. In fact, the shift in e-commerce has outlined the robustly growing need for value-added services among end-consumers. To cater to the same, TCIEXPRESS has been extensively working upon multi-model distribution for both B2B and B2C segments for optimum on-time delivery with value-added features of cash on delivery. Equipped with the vision of ‘Fulfilment to the last smile’, we have key features like vendor-warehouse-customer delivery, packaging material distribution, fulfilment centre to last mile, cash collection, IT interface with customers, intra-city distribution, and even express deliveries on Sundays and other holidays. These features do not just differentiate us from our contemporaries when it comes to customer experience but also help us efficiently deal with the growing demand led by e-commerce.

Cargo security has been a huge concern for the industry as well as the end consumer. What systems have you put in place in order to eliminate theft and pilferage?

At TCIEXPRESS, the safety of deliverables entrusted with us is of utmost priority. To eliminate the possibility of thefts and to maintain security, we have been leveraging all the resources available. With technological tools like GPS tracker and CCTVs, we ensure a transparent real-time tracking of each vehicle and shipment along with monitoring all the activities taking place in the workplace as well as the warehouses. Moreover, each employee gets selected after a thorough screening and is assigned an RFID each without which, no access is granted. Counter surveillance and periodic security audits are also conducted in the premises. Most importantly, we at TCIEXPRESS have been successfully establishing a culture of security both within the organization as well as among our transportation partners and intermediaries. Through all these measures, we maintain an optimum level of security for all the deliverables.

Several international players have already entered the Indian market, through green field projects, Joint ventures and acquisitions. How do you plan to compete with these businesses to retain your market share?

One of the biggest differentiators that give TCIEXPRESS an edge over its competitors is the advanced hub-and-spoke distribution model that it works upon. This model helps us maximize our efficiency while ensuring continuous movement, reduced costs, enhanced productivity, consistent on-time performance, and ultimately, an enhanced end-consumer experience. Moreover, we have been extensively working towards expanding our fleet and strengthening last-mile delivery services with over 3000 pickup and 1500 delivery locations across the country at present. Furthermore, as a customer-centric brand, we have dedicated customer service department at all our regional offices enabling real-time engagement with end-customers to augment their experience. We have also begun catering to remote customers residing in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. We also maintain the best levels of security by leveraging technology and all such resources. Through all these measures and with support from our dedicated team, we are certain that we will be able to maintain our position as the best and the most-trusted express delivery service in India.

Can you give us a comparative analysis between the global express industry and express logistics industry in India?

The global express industry has been facing significant changes, moving forward from postal companies and integrators to last-mile delivery services and increased innovations. Technavio’s report has forecasted that the global express market will grow at a CAGR of 7%, reaching approximately USD 257 billion by 2020. Even though it comprises a small share of around 2% of the global landscape at present, the Indian express logistics industry is one of the fastest-growing markets. According to an independent research conducted by Deloitte, the express logistics industry in India is projected to grow at an exponential CAGR of 17% and reach INR 48,000 crores by 2023. However, the logistics costs are still higher. For instance, logistics costs account for 1% of the business in China, while it is 3% in India.

There has been a significant improvement in penetration of the logistics landscape, with increased remote accessibility to as many as 19,000 pin codes across the country. Equipped with opportunities like automation, enhanced infrastructure, provision of value-added services, easier financial accessibility, customization, and development of cross border e-commerce etc., there is considerable scope for the Indian express logistics to increase its contribution to the global landscape.

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