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Bigbasket, Flipkart look to hire cabs for deliveries, Retail News, ET Retail

Bigbasket, Flipkart look to hire cabs for deliveriesBengaluru: A driver from a cab aggregator might deliver your next grocery order from Flipkart or Bigbasket as the online retailers are in talks with the ride-hailing platform for deliveries of essentials amid the national lockdown.

Flipkart has also sought government approval for the same as it is in advanced discussions with Uber, besides other players, a person aware of the matter said. Bigbasket alerted customers that it is talking to cab aggregators and restaurant workers to beef up its delivery fleet, which is running on 40% of its original strength.

The Flipkart-Uber tie-up will first be rolled out in 10 cities where drivers would pick products from warehouses and deliver to consumers.

Both the companies are working out the final contours of arrangement as to how much they will pay the drivers doing deliveries and if the rest will be shared between Uber and Flipkart. A small batch of Uber drivers have piloted this for Flipkart. This comes when e-tailers are struggling to clear the backlog of existing orders and open new slots for the rising volume of new orders of essential items.

“To achieve the objective of moving essential supplies across the country, from our sellers/vendors to the customers, our teams are exploring all possible collaboration ideas, including having conversations with cab aggregators, etc,” said a Flipkart spokesperson. An Uber spokesperson declined to comment. Earlier in the week, TOI reported Uber and Ola had offered their fleet for short-haul deliveries of essentials along with moving frontline healthcare officials.

“Most of the arrangement is done in this regard. Once the government gives nod, it could be scaled up faster,” said a person aware of the goings-on. TOI has been reporting how there is a labour shortage for online retailers after scores of migrant workers left for their villages or are scared of coming out due to police action during the first few days of the ongoing 21-day lockdown.

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