Ecom Express opens warehouses in three Indian cities

Photo: Pixabay

E-commerce-focused logistics firm Ecom Express has started fulfilment services with the opening of three new warehouse facilities in Gurgaon, Bengaluru and Lucknow.

The fully automated Gurgaon facility, its largest, covers 500,000 sq. ft, while the other two are around 40,000 sq. ft each.

As a new line of business, the company will offer inventory management, order processing, packaging and dispatch services from these facilities.

“The reason for opening fulfilment centres is that we want to give complete solutions to e-commerce customers,” said Sanjeev Saxena, co-founder and director of Ecom Express. The company until now only handled last-mile deliveries.

Saxena said his company plans to open at least seven big and 20 small fulfilment centres with a total investment of Rs40 crore. Two large fulfilment centres of around 200,000 sq. ft — one on the Mumbai-Gujarat border and the other between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh — will come up this year.

“The objective is to reach any place in India by road in two days,” he said.

Ecom Express delivers to 11,000 pin codes across the country. It operates about 12,000 delivery centres (8,000-15,000 sq. ft each) and 33 transit hubs (5,000-30,000 sq. ft each).

Barring giants like Flipkart and Amazon that operate their own fulfilment centres, e-commerce companies outsource a large part of their storage and order management to third-party logistics companies like Delhivery, Blue Dart, Gati and DTDC.

Delhivery, Ecom Express’s biggest competitor, operates 11 fulfilment centres across the country.

Opening a fulfilment centre is a logical extension to the delivery business, Saxena said, as it allows clients to store their products, and manage inventory and dispatch, without having to own the infrastructure.

Not only does it reduce costs for the e-tailer, delivery processing is faster as consignments rest with the vendor who carries out the delivery. Fulfilment centres also serve as zonal hubs for delivery companies to manage their own consignments.

For billing, Ecom Express will charge clients for storing goods, managing their orders through its software and packaging. The consignments can then be delivered by Ecom Express or another third-party vendor.

Saxena also said that with the roll out of the goods and services tax (GST), consumer goods companies will be looking for larger warehouses.

“With GST, a lot of warehouse consolidation will happen and players will need big facilities. These facilities are available with us.” he said, adding that the company will focus on clients in auto spare parts, fashion retail (Jabong and Myntra) and large online sellers for its warehouse offerings.

Ecom Express and Delhivery, besides Flipkart-owned Ekart and GoJavas, a subsidiary of DTDC, are the largest delivery firms in India focused on e-commerce. In June 2015, Ecom Express raised Rs850 crore from private equity firm Warburg Pincus, a month after Tiger Global Management infused Rs542 crore in rival Delhivery.

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This story was first published on Livemint

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.