Amazon has extended the services of Amazon Transportation Services Private Limited (ATSL) to deliver products from sellers who transact on Amazon directly to customers in India, reports ET Tech. ATSL will now be available to merchants as one of their logistics partners for Amazon’s Indian marketplace.
Note that Amazon had expanded its Easy Ship delivery service in December last year and had started a pilot on product returns, as part of a move to make it a complete end-to-end logistics service for sellers using its e-commerce platform. The company claims that this platform serves 12,000 out of its 20,000 sellers.
By launching ATSL in India, Amazon will be at par with Flipkart and Snapdeal which offer their own logistics services in eKart and GoJavas respectively. Amazon, which currently operates nine fulfilment centres in eight Indian states, said it will continue to work with other partners including India Post and courier companies like Gati, Blue Dart and DHL.
Previously, Amazon had launched a pilot project to test India Post’s cash on delivery model through which, India Post will collect payment from its customers. It had also launched its third-party logistics service in India starting with a pilot in Delhi-NCR region that lasted till February.
Joining the bandwagon
Most e-commerce companies in India currently offer logistics support for merchants listed on their website. Flipkart launched its own fulfillment service for third party merchants called ‘Flipkart Advantage’ in September last year, which made products eligible for faster delivery options like Flipkart’s same day delivery and next-day delivery. This was after the company had opened its logistics arm eKart Logistics to other operators in February the same year.
In May last year, Snapdeal stated that it had opened over 40 fulfillment centers across 15 cities that would take care of warehousing, logistics and liaison with courier companies. Following this, it had extended its same day delivery service ‘Snapdeal Plus’ to sellers in 15 cities across India. Just earlier this month,the company picked up a minority stake in logistics firm GoJavas, with a goal to enable four hour deliveries. It is also interesting to note that Snapdeal had launched a fulfillment service for sellers listing their products on its platform called SafeShip, in June 2013.
There’s also Infibeam which launched a SaaS-based logistics services aggregation platform called ShipDroid, which will help merchants deliver packages throughout the country and JustDial, which announced integrating logistics services that would offer its merchants the ability to deliver products purchased via its marketplace.
Rocket Internet-backed online furniture retailer FabFurnish also launched a shipping solutions provider called FabOne earlier this month, with an intention to invest $15 million in the service over the next 6-9 months to expand it. Kartrocket had also opened up its stand alone delivery service Shiprocket to all operators. Courier company DTDC Couriers & Cargo had launched a new specialized e-commerce logistics initiative called DotZot in March 2013. In December 2012, Rocket Internet-backed Jabong had launched third-party logistics service called JaVAS (Jabong Value Added Services). It later on sold it to Gurgaon-based QuickDel Logistics.
Other startups include Delhivery, which raised $35 million in Series C round of funding led by Multiples Alternate Asset Management in September last year and Holisol Logistics which received $1.5 million investment from the oil and gas professional Sundeep Bhandari in August the same year. Note that Delhivery had previously acquired the offline cash collection network of Gharpay and the Gharpay brand for an undisclosed amount in June 2013.