There is good news for anyone taking orders for the holiday season. The logistics and shipping industry, once the hardest hit this year, is slowly making its way back. Over 75% of the sector is back in swing, just in time for the holiday orders to be taken care of.
COVID disrupted the supply chain, which led to delayed orders, blocked warehouses with piled-up inventory, and losses for businesses. Fortunately, it’s coming back, but with a few changes, SMEs need to be aware of.
In this blog, we will discuss:
How shipping has changed to fit the current scenario
After small businesses were left in a fix to ship orders once the industry got locked down, the logistics industry is slowly adapting to meet the demands of businesses that have resumed operations post lockdown. For starters –
- Shipping services have reduced prices and increased frequencies.
- Increasing coverage to cities outside metros and tier 1 areas.
- Practising contactless delivery, and avoiding containment zones altogether.
- Improving technological infrastructure to meet pending and new demands from small businesses.
“ The tech tools help us to map and track the shipments or cargo and follow safety protocols. Entire workforce can communicate through these solutions or apps. Digital services give real-time supply chain visibility and help in running logistics operations smoothly. Industry embracing technology is just a silver lining in the current crisis and use of AI, machine learning and IoT is also on a surge. “ – K Satyanarayana, ECom Express
How shipping and warehousing are making a comeback
#1 – The rise in e-commerce demand during the pandemic
There has been a shift in consumer behaviour since the year started. With more people working from home, and an increase in demand from tier 2 tier 3 cities, shipping services are now clamouring to get back to normalcy, thanks to the orders that still need to be attended to. Since offline activity (going to stores, showrooms and shopping in malls) reduced, online e-commerce activity has seen a huge spike.
“ I think to some extent, there is pent-up demand for essentials, and that will also bounce back,” R Chandrashekar, Former IT secretary for Economic Times
We conducted a poll a few days ago to understand what led to the revival of the shipping industry, and we were not surprised at the answers!
— instamojo (@instamojo) November 24, 2020
Shipping services are resuming operations steadily due to the rising demands from businesses during festive season sales. Orders pile up due to discounts, offers and increased spending behaviour at this time. Logistics industry expert Ecom Express will increase their freight capacity to meet large orders coming in from businesses all over India.
#2 – Increased Government spending
During the lockdown, truckers would be stranded at checkpoints with tonnes of goods, unable to cross stateliness due to the pandemic. Now, sensing how the logistics industry is pivotal to the economy, and the free flow of good and services in the country, the government is sparing no expense.
India Post to the rescue
At a time when no one could carry shipping services in India, Thilak Desing, founder of Used Books Factory, managed to ship books from Chennai to Jammu and Kashmir using India Post, a Government postal service!
#3 – Staying alert for uncertain times
According to N Sivasailam, Former Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, investing in air freight is the way forward for post COVID era in the shipping industry. He also stated how the Government needs to relook at logistics and manufacturing costs that the country’s sector incurs. The shipping industry is looking to increase investment opportunities, scale wider and reach every nook in India.
Finding a shipping service to suit your orders
If you use online marketplaces for your shipping needs, you would have noticed that several shipping partners suggest there may be a delay in delivery. Therefore, we do not recommend only looking for fast shipping partners anymore, although that should still be an important factor to consider.
Instead, look for shipping services that:
- Ensure quality packaging
- Practice safety measures before, during, and after delivery of products
- Maintains invoices and tracking information with both seller and buyer
- Look for e-commerce platforms with shipping partners
It is important to have orders delivered on time, but today, shipping partners are finding it easier to prioritise. Even during the lockdown, essentials like medicine, grocery staples, and safety kits reached doorsteps on time.
Use Instamojo mojoXpress to manage seasonal orders
It takes entrepreneurs an average of 240 minutes (about 4 hours) in a working day to pack, and send a shipment to customers. With Instamojo’s mojoXpress, it takes just 1 minute. If you are looking for an e-commerce platform that comes with a shipping partner, look no further. For over 2 years, mojoXpress, our shipping service in partnership with Vamaship, has catered to over 600+ businesses in shipping their products across the country.
Over 20,000+ businesses use the mojoXpress shipping calculator to explain shipping costs to customers. We have compiled several helpful guides to show you the ease of using and exploring mojoXpress. If you are new to mojoXpress, here is a customer verified testimonial from music band Gutslit.
“ Before mojoXpress, we relied on local shipping services to deliver our merchandise. Then, Instamojo partnered with Vamaship for mojoXpress, it just sorted it all for us. – Gurdip, band member
With the shipping industry making an effort to ensure safe delivery across the country, it is important for businesses to become mindful too. Update customers with latest COVID information, allow them to track orders online and be aware of international shipping rules and regulations at all times.
If you are looking to set up shipping services for your customers, start here.