Emerging as a leading distribution channel for the e-commerce sector, India Post collected over Rs 800 crore through cash-on-delivery (CoD) facility and is looking to further strengthen its position in the segment by starting a pilot service for same-day delivery.
The postal department has also earned around Rs 70-80 crore through speed post in the year 2014-15 from e-commerce business.
“Since the introduction of CoD facility, the Department of Post has collected more than Rs 800 crore and remitted to customers,” an official said.
In order to generate more business, the postal department is reviewing its service features to attract more number of e-commerce customers, the official further said.
“As part of this exercise, the Department of Posts has started pilot for same/next day delivery in identified cities for identified PIN codes. A national account facility has also been introduced under Speed Post,” he added.
The CoD facility was launched in December 2013 to cater to the needs of customers and benefits from the growing e-commerce market.
The CoD has emerged as one of the most sought after services for e-commerce entities. Customers in the country tend to prefer CoD as the online payment modes are yet to catch up in many parts of the country while many people are not comfortable with advance payments for products purchased online.
The initiatives taken by the department for parcel segment have resulted in revenue of Rs 105.51 crore in 2014-15.
With dwindling letter or document traffic, the department is focusing on the fast-growing parcel segment and various measures have been taken to modernise the department under the Digital India initiative.
As part of initiatives to leverage the e-commerce sector, the department has forged tie-ups with leading online market places like Snapdeal, Amazon, Paytm and Yepme for parcel delivery and has also set up modernised 48 centres to handle the packages.
The e-commerce sector in India is growing at 47 per cent CAGR and India Post is the only delivery agency with a pan-India reach, the official said.
Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had earlier said that India Post with the world’s largest postal network was best suited to offer delivery services to e-commerce firms.
The Minister had suggested that India Post should strive to become the largest player in the e-commerce segment.
The Postal Department has 1,54,882 post offices, of which 1,39,182 are in rural areas. The department employs around 4,60,000 personnel and handles close to six billion mail pieces in a year.
Source : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/