The Indian Postal department has grand ambitions. It has already created a position for itself among ecommerce players. The access it has to remote places makes India Post a valuable ally for online sellers, particularly for the last mile.
Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology stated that India Post has the calibre to become the leading delivery platform for ecommerce companies worldwide. The Minister made the statement as he inaugurated the new ecommerce Parcel Processing Centre in Mumbai. While announcing that Amazon was its largest customer, Mr. Prasad said that the parcel revenue of India Post had gone up by 37% in 2014-15, and it had grown by 117% in the first half of 2015-16.
Mr. Prasad said, “The new facet is cash-on-delivery. India Post has become the premium courier service for e-commerce, so that is a definite improvement. India Post’s revenue from cash-on-delivery is going to be Rs. 1,500 crore by the end of the year ending March, 2016.”
He also announced that India Post will commence operations of a payment bank. This facility will enable the postal banks to provide various banking services including consultancy, banking solutions, ATMs, among others.
Top class facilities at the new Centre
The Parcel Processing Centre, which is based at Parel, is fully mechanised. The centre boasts of conveyor belts and electronic weighing machines to enable smooth and error free functioning. The centre also has a dedicated fleet of vehicles to transport consignments to the Mumbai airport. It has the facility to handle 30,000 parcels in a day.
The postal department’s stronghold is Tier 2 and 3 cities, where access is limited. It is clearly in the interests of India Post to brush up its delivery skills. Ecommerce companies will also benefit mightily from the legacy organisation’s experience. Let us hope that this union heralds a robust and affordable delivery system for online sellers.