Some interesting and important e-Commerce shipping facts:
- India has around 40,000 listed pincodes. The largest private couriers do not reach more than 15,000 pincodes
- India post has the largest reach covering almost every pin-code in India
- Transport in India is done through three modes: Air, Road and Rail. Waterways are used for few occasions and are not used in online retail
- Serviceability: Any shipper, for a given pin-code should be able to tell you whether they will either service it for all payment modes (Cash on Delivery or Prepaid), or only Prepaid, or does not service that pincode at all. This serviceability matrix is usually dynamic as shippers constantly upgrade their reach
- Shipping cost is composed of multiple elements
- Freight rate – This is higher of the physical weight or volumetric weight. We will cover volumetric weight in more detail but the most common formula in India is Lcm x Bcm x Hcm/5000 = volumetric weight in kg.
- Fuel Surcharge – This will be anywhere between 20-60% of the freight rate. The % varies with varying global fuel prices.
- Service Tax – 12.36% and
- Payment Charges in case of COD (1-2% usually)
- You must always be careful about how bulky items can eat into your margins because of shipping and choose surface shipments accordingly
- There are multiple local and national shippers in India like Bluedart, Fedex, eCom express, Aramax and Delhivery and you need to research well as to what suits you best.
- Ensure quality packing material such as multiple layers of bubble wrap and 3-5 ply cartons to best protect your products from damage from shipments
- Most couriers do not cover more than Rs. 5000 of loss due to damage or loss of shipment, you may have to take a separate transit insurance policy.
To better track your shipments across online portals, use Primaseller. We are integrated with multiple shippers to give you real time tracking of packages.
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