Info-tech

Flipkart’s Dabbawala tie-up for last-mile delivery

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on April 09, 2015

Market leader trying to get away from operations-heavy logistics methods

Flipkart, India’s leading e-commerce marketplace, has tied up with the Dabbawalas of Mumbai for last-mile delivery to customers.

The partnership is an effort to explore newer delivery channels and opportunities by partnering with this unique community of experts.

‘Most reliable’

“The Dabbawalas of Mumbai are one of the most reliable and trusted brands in the city. Their unique delivery system has been smooth, reliable and has survived the test of time, even under extreme conditions that are typical of a city like Mumbai.

“We are partnering with them and leveraging this unique expertise to enhance our last mile delivery capabilities” said Neeraj Aggarwal, Senior Director – Last Mile Delivery, Flipkart.

In the initial stage of association, the Dabbawalas (with one union at this stage) will collect Flipkart marketplace shipments from the delivery hubs and deliver it to the customers -- while picking their dabbas. Currently, a partner just for last mile deliveries, the Dabbawalas will not be interacting with the sellers at this stage.

The initial pilot will be for prepaid orders -- rolled out for cash-on-delivery orders as the association expands. The first batch of Dabbawalas has undergone training at Flipkart’s delivery centres. At this stage, they will be using a paper-based tracking system with the idea being to gradually train them on the usage of apps and other wearable tech. In another attempt to break-away from the traditional operations-heavy logistic method, Flipkart recently launched a crowd-sourced delivery option which aims to connect local sellers and buyers with the help of voluntary delivery personnel, reducing the order to delivery timeline drastically. These delivery personnel are on-boarded onto a specialised Flipkart delivery programme post extensive background verifications and are free to take up Flipkart deliveries as per their convenience.

Lesser checks

This process helps reduce the delivery process checks by enabling these delivery personnel to directly collect the package from the local seller and deliver it to the buyer, managing to reduce the order to delivery time to as little as three to four hours.

This pilot project, currently operational only for Bangalore sellers and customers, should ideally see higher conversions for sellers as well. The service is currently available for shipments of less than ₹5,000 value in Bangalore.

Published on April 09, 2015
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