Thursday, December 27, 2007

E-Commerce: An opportunity for logistics services companies

Today, I was chatting with a friend of mine who is working at an e-commerce start-up. One of the bottlenecks in their go-to-market plan has been the identification of a professional logistics/courier services company to deliver products to their customers.

While there is a plethora of logistics services companies in India, most of them are not professional enough and those that are professional are either too expensive or do not service deliveries of the high-value products in which the portal deals with.

While I wouldn't like to draw conclusions based on the experience of a singular person, there seems to be a huge opportunity for logistics services companies in the e-commerce domain. They would do well to create a tailor-made offering for e-commerce companies and boost their own volumes.

4 comments:

G Praveen Kumar said...

blue dart, professional, aramax are good options for logistics in india, fedex for international logistics...these guys have been active in e-commerce section from the past 7years...

Way to start with them:

1) Call their sales guy to your office, don't go to their office..
2) Tell them that you have minimum x no of consignments everyday or week
3) tell them you deal in designer jewellery if you want to send jewellery as indian laws does not allow gold to transfer thru courier, but the law is ok if there is a small stone in that item as it becomes a designer collection.

...normally a courier like blue dart charges rs.150 for you to send a item to mumbai from chennai, but if you commit them some no's then they come till rs.40 also..

Joe said...

Logistics is a huge opportunity. Many of the online logictics solution providers or infomediaries have failed during the first dotcom burst during early 2000. One of my friend used to head a Singapore based Logistics portal called logipolis.com . Its sad to note that the company couldn't retain even the URL :( .

Nimish V Adani said...

@Praveen,

I've passed on the info to my friend. It seems he got in touch with the companies you've mentioned but some issues cropped up. In any case, I'll ask him to get in touch with you.

Raj Saini said...

There need to be done more by logistics/freight companies in India. We are facing similar dilemma for shipping solutions for our e-commerce portal (http://www.ibaazar.com/).

We have tied up with XPS and got quite competitive rate for low weight item and they ship it through XPS courier/package service.

However, to ship packages than 1-2 kg through surface, it is very expensive. Minimum charge of Rs. 450 is a real killer.