In the logistics sector, demand for warehouse roles (delivery executives, movers, pickers, packers and loaders) increased by 20 per cent to 25 per cent in December 2020-July 2021 period as compared to corresponding period last year, and is expected to further increase, said Ajoy Thomas, Business Head (Retail, E-Commerce, Logistics & Transportation), TeamLease Services, an HR company. This is a positive sign for the blue-collar workforce and the gig workforce, who are majorly deployed in these roles, he told BusinessLine .

On what is driving the demand for such jobs, Thomas said that India has emerged as one of the biggest countries for gig and platform workers as e-commerce platforms created huge job opportunities even in the midst of the pandemic and continue to do so even now. Now, with the second wave lock down easing out, hiring continues to further increase for such segments.

Pandemic’s impact

The pandemic and its aftermath have served to transform the logistics sector from a supporting service sector into an essential one. Higher penetration and more acceptance for online shopping across metro cities, tier II locations and towns are expected to continue pushing the growth.

The warehousing market in India was valued at ₹1,05,000 crore in 2020. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 15 per cent between 2021 and 2025 to reach a value of ₹2,02,900 crore by 2025. The usage of the warehousing system in India has gained significant prominence over the past few years. In India, the warehousing and cold storage space occupancy increased by 30 per cent, he said.

“We are likely to see an even bigger increase in sales than predicted by these pre-Covid-19 estimates, as ecommerce sales have seen massive growth and transformation since early 2020. The pandemic has had an immediate impact on buyer behaviour that has accelerated the digital transformation for many businesses,” he said.

Aside from a rapid shift to online buying behaviour, Covid-19 has also increased the consumption of mobile and digital media. As people have turned to devices to fill the social gap, the consumer demand for personalised shopping experiences have increased. Consumer expectations for value have translated into many of the ecommerce new trends we are seeing in 2021, he said.