Flipkart’s logistics unit Ekart forays into Courier Service Segment; Starts with Bangalore

Ekart, the logistic arm of India’s largest e-commerce portal Flipkart is all set to launch its own courier services to take on large courier companies such as DTDC, Blue Dart, DHL and FedEx.

ekartEkart Courier will provide customers door-to-door pick-up of parcels in under 4 hours and delivery in two days. Customers have to place courier booking on the new Ekart Courier website or mobile site. Ekart Courier executive will optimally package customer’s item or document, depending on the size and type of item to be transported. Customers can send parcels weighing up to 10kg.

Its tracking mechanism allows customers to see the progress of parcel to the delivery point. User will get SMS alerts and emails at different interventions. Ekart is also planning to launch an RFID and GPS-based tracking system, which will enable customers to track courier on a map.

“We ran the pilot for a few months and realized the void in the courier market, which is largely unorganized. Making sure the pick-up is executed on time and providing packaging to ensure safety is the unique proposition to our model. Existing tech infrastructure will play a key role in ensuring good margins. We are looking to corner about 5-10% market share over a period of one year,” said Amitesh Jha, VP at EKart told TOI.

The pick-up service will be available only in Bengaluru, where Flipkart started piloting cash-on-delivery, and created a new normal in e-commerce. Soon, the services will be expanded to Delhi, and then to top 8-10 cities by June, and top 50 cities by September. It will deliver to 4,000 locations.

According to TOI, Binny Bansal, who took over as CEO of Flipkart in January this year, has been making aggressive moves backing the logistics business, which he has said will be a big lever in generating cash flows. Binny has big plans for EKart, starting with capital infusion to building a new team to look after its operations. The e-tailer is looking to run the logistics business independently, it is believed.

The fragmented C2C courier market is estimated to be about Rs2200 crore, with many small, regional players apart from new-age companies such as Parcelled, which operate in tier 1 markets.

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