New Delhi: As the e-commerce industry picks up, courier services major Blue Dart has launched locker services in Gurgaon to deal with last-mile hitches, such as people not being at home, or difficult-to-find addresses.
In effect, if you have ordered something online, and would rather not have it home-delivered, you now have the option of collecting your parcels from a locker. However, cash-on-delivery is not allowed — you have to make the payment at the time of online purchase. With parcel lockers, Blue Dart aims to offer 24X7 delivery through the year.
The service is expected to benefit customers who may not be present during regular delivery hours, as also those who travel often.
The lockers are at once secure and simple to operate. You can open them with a one-time password delivered on your phone after you key in the airway bill number. “These can also be used to return the shipment,” Anil Khanna, Managing Director, Blue Dart, told BusinessLine.
The service will also improve the company’s carbon footprint, as the delivery staff needn’t make extra trips, thus saving fuel, said Khanna.
Blue Dart is venturing into this field for the first time, although German logistics major DHL, which has a 75 per cent stake in Blue Dart, offers such services in Europe. In India, too, some e-commerce firms have already launched such services.
Additionally, in tier 2, 3, and 4 cities, Blue Dart is looking to tie up with shops that will act as parcel pick-up centres. The growth is coming from places that do not have malls or big brands.
With the Indian e-tailing industry expected to grow 52 per cent by 2020, the company is also planning to launch fulfilment centres near Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai.
According to a company statement, globally DHL, was the first to launch locker service in developed markets. Since its introduction in Germany in 2001, more than four million active users have registered for over 2,750 lockers. The concept has also picked up in the US and other European markets.
At present, 25 per cent of Blue Dart’s revenues come from B2C e-commerce transactions, while the remaining comes from B2B. E-tail transaction numbers are growing sharply, said Khanna.
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