Delivery men bear the brunt of exploding ECommerce in India

E-Commerce is exploding in India, with sales doubling every few months and are expected to hit $100B by 2020. This is great….but because of the weak transportation infrastructure delivery men using bikes bear the brunt . They have to carry all these big heavy backpacks on their backs. Backpacks are good for mobility but for security reasons they can’t leave them behind when they enter a house or building for the delivery. Imagine the pain carrying them especially they have to go up and down the multi storied buildings or even worse they have to hunt to locate the address!

Bikes are the preferred and faster way to navigate the clogged streets with traffic, sometimes very narrow streets. So, this is something can’t be dispensed with in the near future nor the Drone deliveries are going to happen soon! Hence we need to find a way reduce the burden for the huge backpack carrying delivery folks.

Lets see, how many are there and how big is the problem? If we just do, a back of the envelope calculation, for example, Flipkart delivers roughly 5 million packages a month, if you estimate each delivery person delivers 50 in a day, which gives us roughly 3500 delivery men! With so many other big names, like Snapdeal, Amazon and new ones coming every month the number is big in 10’s of thousands and is only growing rapidly . Now, they have to carry these huge backpacks around (large appliances are still not part of E-commerce yet, which will have to be delivered via vans anyway), while finding addresses is very tricky & in itself a painful process and they can’t leave the backpacks behind for security reasons, while they do that. As you can see there are several aspects to this problem and to make deliveries faster, accurate and pain free.
– Carrying weight of the packages
– Security of the packages
– Locating the address of the customers

Lets see, if we can figure a high level solution, with the latest tech around us. If we solve the security issue they do not need to carry the backpack/load around, right? Now it is possible to have a box, that is designed to fit on the back of a latest bike/moped cross vehicles, of size/shape of a passenger & is fixed to bike! It should come with regular lock as well as digital lock, like August, that unlocks via Bluetooth of the mobile phone of the delivery person! Next is location, GPS is the best solution, given how the address system is unorganized. As India plans to launch its own GPS satellites this year, gps locations should be very functional soon. As smart phones with gps, are getting very prevalent, E-Commerce stores could enable customers sharing their location via GPS in addition to the text address.
For the folks, who do not have smartphones yet and as geo-coding is still a very big challenge , imagine a service (that E-Commerce sites provide) where delivery person, during their successful delivery visit provides the customers their gps coordinates via texting etc, which they could add it to online ordering later on. You can empower every address (each of the customers have to get it only once) with gps this way as and they come online shopping!

As you can see it is possible to address all three challenges with the latest tech around us. Now, go for it.

NOTE: Our idea is not give you a thorough step by step solution but present you the problem and give you some ideas to get started! Imagine the time, energy saved while saving the backs of hundreds of thousands delivery people! Good Luck!

[Photo Credit: Thanks to Skitterphoto via Pixabay]

About Krishna Vuppala 54 Articles
I am passionate about technology & innovation with a mission to 'Accelerating Global Innovation'. I believe, that there exists an "innovation gap" and the current global innovation efforts to solve real meaningful challenges are moving at a slower pace! The reason, I believe, is lack of awareness of those challenges to the global talent! This blog is part of that journey to spread the word on the Problems (that are) Worth Solving! #ProWoSo

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