No flight, no fight
“Ladies and gentlemen, kindly fasten your seatbelts; due to turbulent weather you will be receiving your shopping parcels late. Inconvenience caused is regretted.”
With the immense popularity of ecommerce as a convenient shopping option and many big marketplaces competing to offer quicker delivery time, there has been a surge in demand for shipments by air. Ecommerce shipments in India are estimated to be worth Rs 12,000 crore. According to Harminder Sahani, managing director of retail consultancy Wazir Advisors, “About 80% of the e-commerce shipments in India now travel by air.”
I’ll not be home for Christmas
Last week, SpiceJet cancelled about 100 flights. This has affected several ecommerce logistics firms like Ecom Express, Delhivery and Gojavas, because it affected connectivity between major metro cities of India. This is because in case of bad weather, airlines give first preference to passengers instead of shipping cargo. This will obviously leave several logistics companies in a nervous sweat. Especially because the packaging and effective delivery of a product is now the new battleground for ecommerce companies.
“Majority of our goods, nearly 80%, moves from Delhi and sectors such as Nagpur and Hyderabad have become difficult to handle,” shared Vijay Ghadge, chief operating officer at Gojavas, which handles shipments for online retailers Healthkart, Lenskart and Jabong. Ghadge believes that shipping will get expensive by New Year if this challenge continues.
“The trouble with an aviation player (SpiceJet) has aggravated the situation,” said Sanjiv Kathuria, chief executive officer and co-founder of Bengaluru-based DotZot, the e-commerce shipment arm of logistics firm DTDC Ltd. “It has hit shipments especially to parts of Northeast where shipments are being delayed.”
Specifically speaking, with the north-east part of India catching up with ecommerce sales, this snag in shipment can prove to be a deterrent in sales growth. This is because especially in that region of India, there are not many shipment options, barring air cargo.
It’s time ecommerce shipment companies evolve a more compatible commercial relation with airline companies. If flights are so crucial to the expanding logistics of the extremely lucrative ecommerce business, it’s time for the aviation sector and logistics firms to pull their socks up and get their ecommerce act together.