After making its service available to third-party ecommerce brands, Ekart Logistics – the logistic arm of Flipkart, is going to start a consumer facing courier service called Ekart Courier from next week.
The courier service will be launched in Bengaluru on May 24th. After the initial launch in Bangaluru, it will be scaled up to at least 10 cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata among others in the next two months.
With this new offering, the company is eyeing 5-10% of the market share in the intra-city and inter-city courier segment by the end of the current fiscal. To ensure proper operations, the company will also be launching separate desktop and mobile websites for the consumer facing service.
Commenting about the launch, Amitesh Jha, vice-president at Ekart, said,
If you look at Ekart, we want to be the most transformative supply chain service provider in India. One of the most important aspects of transporting personal goods is being a service the consumer identifies with. How do you ensure reliability is the question.
Ekart’s latest offering will put it up against traditional courier companies such as BlueDart, DHL, DTDC, etc. On the satrtups front, Ekart will compete against well-funded e-commerce-focused logistics firms such as Delhivery, Ecom Express Pvt. Ltd and Dotzot, the e-commerce focused arm of DTDC Express Ltd. Other traditional logistics companies such as Gati, Blue Dart Express, etc. are all adding e-commerce verticals to their existing lines of businesses.
It has been nothing short of an intense battle on the logistics front. As eCommerce companies in India shift focus towards improving their returning customer bases rather than spending investor money on acquiring new ones, logistics becomes an important cog in the wheel.
The logistics footprint of Amazon India too has grown rapidly to three times — helping it reach a massive 2,100 cities and towns in 2015 across India. The company also added eight warehouses last year, increasing its count to 21. Snapdeal had also acquired a large stake in specialty logistics firm GoJavas to improve its speed of order deliveries.
Since the formation of Ekart, Flipkart has pumped in around Rs. 800 crore in the company. Currently, it is controlled by an entity called Instakart Services Pvt. Ltd. Flipkart bought back its logistics business from WS Retail Services Pvt. Ltd via Instakart in last September.