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The Key Role of the Logistics Sector in Reshaping the Economy in 2020 While adhering to safety norms, the logistics industry is also catering to customer demands, making it one of the most important industries during the COVID-19 crisis

By Saahil Goel

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The world is grappling with a health crisis, the likes of which have never been seen before. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its onslaught across the globe, businesses are bearing the brunt of its impact. While there is a widespread disruption in almost every industry and a majority of them are trying to cushion the blow, there are some industries that have played a pivotal role in making life as normal as possible midst the rampant uncertainty.

One such industry is e-commerce logistics, without which the state of the world today would be unimaginable. Midst the pandemic-induced mayhem, the logistics industry has proven to be a blessing in disguise. Despite the lack of sufficient transport and supply chain disruptions, the industry has managed to maintain a certain level of seamlessness in the global shipping of goods.

As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy, e-commerce logistics brands are amping up their efforts to ensure the safety of both customers and employees. Brands in the industry are also ensuring that customers receive their orders without hindrances and simultaneously meeting the exponential rise in demand. Here is how the industry is playing an instrumental role during the global crisis and how it will evolve post the COVID era.

Digital is the new norm

The pandemic has brought the world to its knees while leaving us racing to stock up on essential items such as groceries, food, and pharmaceuticals and the demand has drastically heightened. However, social distancing and best practices of hygiene and safety, and staying indoors as much as possible has become the new normal. So, how are logistics players catering to this demand whilst adhering to safety protocols? The answer lies in OTP-based contactless delivery of items where the delivery executive verifies the order through an OTP sent to the customer's phone. Leveraging technology, brands are turning to such innovative methods to sidestep any risk of contamination.

Logistics aggregators: Juggling efficiency and safety

The advent of technology has paved the way for increased automation and digitization. Third-party logistics brands, i.e. logistics aggregators are utilizing this to serve small-sellers better and improve their customer satisfaction and retention. Leveraging state-of-the-art technology, logistics aggregators are focusing on increasing the efficiency of services and optimizing cost. Another method adopted by logistics aggregator brands is going hyperlocal. Hyperlocal services allow brands to deliver goods faster to customers. For small-sellers who wish to take their business online and increase their customer base, logistics aggregators have become the one-stop fulfilment solution. They allow small businesses access to easily navigable tech-driven tools to help them fulfil demand and connect with their customers directly.

Top-notch packaging services

With the global flow of goods becoming volatile due to lack of transportation, logistics aggregators are stepping in to address the issue. With automated warehousing and packaging services, they ensure that there is minimal weight discrepancy and a seamless post-order experience. Additionally, they also partner with expert courier services and allow small-time sellers to choose from a list of these courier partners. By partnering with e-commerce giants, these brands are empowering small businesses by taking them online and offering them access to a wider range of customers in various geographies.

The world is in dire need of efficient logistics services now more than ever and the pandemic has simply highlighted this requirement. With continued support from aggregators and the government with e-commerce policies that acknowledge and support small sellers, there is bound to be a bright future for the industry overall.

Saahil Goel

CEO and Co-Founder, Shiprocket

Saahil Goel is the CEO and co-founder of ShipRocket (BigFoot Retail Solutions Pvt. Ltd.)

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