An Overview of eCommerce Logistics in India
Investopedia defines logistics as the overall planning and management of resources being acquired, stored and then transported. It was originally a military term used to describe how military equipment was acquired, maintained, and moved. The term has since expanded to cover distribution and supply chain management in the manufacturing and business sectors. In the simplest terms, logistics refers to having inventory available at the time when orders are being placed, ensuring that it is picked up, transported and delivered in proper condition to the end customer.
eCommerce Logistics became a rising star in the mid-2000s when online businesses began to grow. This sector of logistics, slowly becoming one of the largest, is focused on supply chain and distribution management specifically for businesses that operate via online platforms.
Ecommerce logistics companies, which are essentially highly equipped shipping and courier companies, work alongside the transportation sector to create innovative tech-enabled solutions for the delivery of goods to customers all across India. In this article, we’ll dive into how does eCommerce logistics works in India and what logistics companies do.
What Ecommerce Logistics Companies Do?
Ecommerce logistics companies provide a wide number of services for e-commerce businesses, many of which are specially designed to deal with specialized products or specific business interests. However, there are a few core services that every logistics company provides, and the best eCommerce Logistics Companies must make use of tech-enabled solutions to provide them efficiently. These include:-
1. Warehousing and Inventory
Many eCommerce logistics companies provide storage facilities for eCommerce businesses to keep stock of their inventory. These may be in the form of warehouses and distribution centres. Maintaining inventory with an e-Commerce logistics partner can help speed up the process of order manifestation. WMS (warehouse management systems) can go a long way in keeping track of inventory and ensuring you have the products you need available as soon as an order is placed.
2. Order Manifestation and PickUp
Once an order has been placed, the logistics company is notified of that order by creating it on their platform. The product must then be identified and taken from the stock, given an AWB number (used for tracking the order) and shipping label and then assigned to an agent for pickup. Most logistics companies provide these services under the banner of order manifestation, while logistics intelligence platforms use tech to streamline and automate this process.
One of the major roles that the top 5 eCommerce Logistics service provider companies in India play is that of the delivery agent. Once the item has been picked up, it must be conveyed to the customer. Logistics companies make use of different modes of transportation, the most common ones being air and road. Many logistics companies maintain their own fleets of trucks to optimize delivery speeds.
Most logistics companies also have a well-connected network of fulfillment and distribution centres for storing orders in transit, which helps ensure they reach their destination safely. Tracking orders as they move is a huge part of the delivery journey, not only for e-commerce businesses trying to keep track of their orders but also for customers, eagerly waiting for their order to arrive.
4. Last Mile Delivery
The last mile of delivery is, as the name suggests, the very last stage of delivery, where the order is taken from its in-transit storage facility to the final destination, i.e., the customer. This may seem like a relatively easy process but there are numerous issues that can come up here which may delay the delivery of the order.
The delivery agent may also be unable to locate the address or contact the customer, in cases where incorrect information has been provided at the time of order checkout. This can result in the first delivery attempt failing. After an initial failed delivery attempt, logistics partners can make multiple more attempts to complete the delivery. Automating queries to customers can enable failed deliveries to be converted into successful deliveries with greater efficiency.
Ecommerce logistics covers the entire range of services required by eCommerce businesses to successfully deliver a small to a large volume of orders to customers spread out across the nation. As eCommerce businesses grow, logistics companies must increase their knowledge and resources to keep up with the rising demand.
The above-mentioned processes, i.e., warehousing, order manifesting, transportation and fulfillment of orders, are the major services every business requires. However, when it comes to eCommerce businesses, these processes can be optimized using tech solutions, which has led to the growth of the eCommerce logistics industry.