Citing the onset of the festive season, Amazon announced that it was giving its delivery network a shot in the arm, especially in places where the e-commerce giant hasn’t had a very significant distribution footprint. These include Leh-Ladakh, Lakshadweep, as well as various parts of East & North-East India. With this expansion, Amazon now has 350 ‘Service Partner nodes’ across 320 cities, which is a 40% increase from the 250 that were set up for Diwali in 2016.

The company added that it is now partnered with 17,500 small stores in 225 cities for last-mile delivery. This is 5,000 more stores than last year. Storeowners deliver between 20 to 30 packages a day, earning a fee per delivery.

Focus on smaller cities

Akhil Saxena, Amazon India’s customer fulfilment head said, “We have seen significant new customer acquisition from tier 2/3/4 cities including Prime memberships,” adding that expanding the distribution network will help the company penetrate these markets further.

Amazon’s Service Partner program partners with local entrepreneurs to do the last-mile delivery to customers. The company now has over 350 Service Partner nodes across the country.

Amazon has also invested in expanding its network of Fulfilment Centres to 41 in thirteen states. The latest fulfilment centre opened in Hyderabad last week. By the end of this quarter, the company hopes to have set up seven new fulfilment centres.

Pantry and other investments

Amazon’s Pantry service for delivery of groceries has been expanding rapidly. Adding seven cities by May this year to reach a total of 34 cities, the company is also trying out bulk grocery subscriptions via the service in Hyderabad.

In June, Amazon India’s logistics arm Amazon Transportation Services (ATS) got an infusion Rs 207 crore from Singapore-based Amazon Corporate Holdings and Amazon Malaysia. It also received Rs 67 crore from the parent company in September 2016.

Menawhile, ATS is looking to get another Rs 400 crore infusion from the parent company to expand its logistics footprint in the country, reports ET.  Filings from the registrar of companies showed that it has got board approval to increase its authorized share capital.