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Despite govt clearance, ecomm cos find it difficult to deliver essentials, Retail News, ET Retail

Despite govt clearance, ecomm cos find it difficult to deliver essentials BENGALURU: Delivery of essential items such as food, groceries and medical supplies, ordered by customers from ecommerce sites, has been disrupted even after state governments exempted ecommerce services from the ongoing widespread lockdowns till March 31, prominent etailers told ET.

“We are not operational due to restrictions imposed by local authorities on the movement of goods in spite of clear guidelines provided by the central authorities to enable essential services,” BigBasket informed customers through its app on Tuesday.

The country’s largest e-grocer has stopped accepting orders in Gurugram and Mumbai till further notice, while operations at several other regions are at lower than normal capacity. Local authorities are shutting down warehouses and stopping trucks from crossing state borders, hampering the availability of essential goods for a third consecutive day, especially in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Hyderabad, the ecommerce companies claimed. ET could not independently verify these claims.

Amazon removed all non-essential items from its India marketplace to ensure that the most important needs were met first. The company warned customers of increased cancellations and delays in deliveries in some regions. “We continue to make changes to our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing and seller processes to prioritise stocking and delivering priority products like household staples, health and hygiene products, sanitizers, baby formula, and medical supplies,” Amazon said.

The curfew-like situation has cut off first-mile and last-mile logistics for ecommerce firms, effectively choking their businesses. “On March 23, there was a 40% drop in the number of ecommerce deliveries across India and return to origin or RTO orders saw a massive increase by 330%,” said Pranshu Kacholia, vice-president of Business at logistics intelligence platform Clickpost.

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