Ekart, the logistics arm of Flipkart has created a new record by handling more than two million packages in a single day at the main hub in Bengaluru during the Big Billion Days. It was the company’s biggest sale in the year and captures 58 percent of the market share on the back of investments in the logistics network. The ecommerce giant had a good festival sale this year and captured a larger market share as compared to Amazon’s 26 percent.
The Vice President and In charge of operations at Ekart, Rohit Sharma mentioned that the investment in logistics network in the months leading to BBD ensured the company to achieve a record breaking sale. Ekart has doubled the storage capacity since the sale in 2016 and had added 20, 000 temporary staff. Ekart has a presence across every state except Manipur and Nagaland and all the Union Territories except Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep. Ekart is present in 7,000 pin codes. It has around 600 delivery hubs across the country and at any given point of time; a consumer is only 30 minutes away from the delivery hub.
25% of the deliveries are through the alternate delivery network of Ekart. This alternate delivery network includes the lockers set up at office buildings, apartment blocks and tech parks. In Bengaluru itself Ekart will make up to 3,000 deliveries a day through the locker network. With more than 6,000 mom and pop stores to deliver packages on a regular basis, Ekart crosses the 10,000 mark during the high sales period like BBD. The alternate model of delivery was under pilot in 2016 when Flipkart had partnered with QikPod, which is a smart locker startup launched by Ravi Gururaj. Being an investor in QikPod, Flipkart moved the initiative from the stage of experimentation to operations. Ekart does locker delivers in Delhi and Bengaluru. Flipkart has been focusing on the process and tech innovations across the company in order to increase the efficiency and enhance the customer experience.
Flipkart has also scaled up with a product exchange program, Prexo which it had piloted in 2016. The entire process can save time since the product which is being up needs to be checked and the new product needs to be delivered. The delivery of the new product and the pickup of old product happen simultaneously. This program is available across most places where Ekart delivers directly. The company has also introduced an anti-theft packaging system for high value items like phones and watches. This includes features like interlocking of the inside flaps that prevent cutting of the box. This box is tamper proof and Flipkart has also filed a patent for this innovation.
The company is currently working on a technology which will help the delivery personnel to get the location of the customer with precision even if the address is not clear. This will be a significant step across the smaller towns and cities with nonstandard addresses.