Logistics service provider DTDC has committed to invest $15 million by next year to set up six more fulfillment centers in India.
This is in line with DTDC's transition from a courier company to an e-commerce related logistics firm. The process started two years back in 2016 when it launched its e-fulfillment business. Currently the company has nine fulfillment centers of which five are in Delhi NCR, and one each in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai.
Often retailers, online and offline, don't have the wherewithal to manage the logistics of fulfilling orders and delivery. This is then outsourced to third-party logistics providers such as DTDC who then stock the inventory and manage their last mile delivery and returns, says Suresh Bansal, board member and head of e-fulfillment at DTDC Express. They have over 1,000 such sellers onboard.
"By registering with us sellers then don't have to enroll individually and stock inventory for each marketplace. Through our partnership with top 25 e-tailers they get easy access to all at once," says Bansal.
These sellers are not just small SMEs and retailers but also big brands such as Nike and Videocon or marketplaces like Paytm that have partnered with DTDC to manage their online orders.
For DTDC, e-fulfillment is still a small part of their overall business. Currently less than five per cent of their revenue comes from it but it is also their fastest growing segment. Bansal says that last year their e-fulfillment logistics business saw a growth of 163% and this year they are expecting it to cross 200% as it is still a nascent market.
During the last one year, DTDC has been on an expansion drive setting up hubs and warehouses across the country. In February 2018, the company opened a Rs 1.5 crore hub and office facility spread over 18,000 sq ft in Chennai and another facility in Samalkha region in Delhi.