Logistics operations have been hit by the increase in COVID-19 related restrictions across the country, industry officials said. Non-availability of trucks had also added to the problem.
“We see that challenges still remain with the supply side (transporters). With large sell-off of vehicles and limited new purchases, [due to economic reasons] the number of trucks on the road is not increasing. This has led to a shortfall in supply and a skew in day-to-day prices,” said Mudasar Mohamed, COO and co-founder, Ezyhaul, an on-demand road freight exchange platform for B2B shipments.
However, with the learnings from the 2020 lockdowns, shippers have become better equipped to manage exigencies through establishment of ad hoc warehouses in their high-demand sectors for load planning, he said.
The pandemic has added uncertainties in the supply chain of retail and e-commerce brands, said Harsh Vaidya, founder and CEO, WareIQ, an e-commerce fulfilment firm.
“From the technology aspect, we are dynamically tracking pin codes that are getting inactive across the courier network [due to curfews and containment zones] and updating that [information] through Application Programming Interface (APIs) to online sellers so they don’t accept orders from the new unserviceable locations.”
Since non-essential retail outlets are closed, some companies have become dependant on their e-commerce platforms to sell products.
“We continue to experience a good market response via online stores,” said Mandeep Arora, managing director & co-founder, UBON, a consumer electronics brand. “All our products are home delivered across India. As consumers are avoiding stepping out of their homes, buying online has been observed. This has immensely boosted traffic on our e-commerce channel.”