Review of Domestic Courier Services for eCommerce Businesses

Ever since we started with Zepo and even before that, we have dealt with courier companies in India on a first hand basis. And we have had agonizingly frustrating experiences with some.

Logistics is to ecommerce what queues are to retail stores! The longer the wait, the more frustrated a customer!

review of domestic courier agency The courier company making your deliveries is your first and the most important point of contact with your customer, and you sure as hell don’t want to mess that up! It makes for some major disappointment when you get a call from a customer complaining about the state and time of deliveries made. And that is why we thought to review some of the popular domestic courier options in India, particularly for ecommerce businesses. This review comes from our experience and the experience of our store owners. We have rated each courier service on the basis of 5 major criteria you think upon before choosing which one to go with.

  1. Serviceable area
  2. Delivery times
  3. Rates
  4. Pick up facility
  5. COD
  6. Track Shipment

To put it in a more visually appealing way, here is an infographic of the review. You can find a more detailed review of all the courier services, below the infographic.  image

1.Blue Dart

Blue Dart trumps the market when it comes to service. Although it is a shade more expensive than most players in the market, their service has only been paralled by India Post. From providing the best, quickest and most reliable deliveries pan-India, Blue Dart has a vast serviceable area. So at the end of the day, even if Blue Dart is slightly more expensive, they are well worth it.

a.Pick Up facility: 7/10

b.Rates: 6/10 | Approx. Rs. 55 – 75/500gms, depending on serviceable area

c.COD: 7/10 | Approx. Rs. 80 or 3% of the invoice value, whichever is higher

d.Deliverable Area:8/10

e.Service: 8/10

f.Track shipment: 8/10 PS. The rates mentioned above are extended especially to Zepo users. The rates may differ as well as their policy or minimum commitments for others. 

2.DTDC

DTDC is a franchise model, which necessarily means that although all shipments go through the DTDC network, there is no standard rating that would apply to all DTDC channel partners. A better call would be to check out for yourself the rates and performance of DTDC in your sector and be the better judge. DTDC does offer higher rates than other private solutions and untimely deliveries and loss of shipments are some of the common problems.

a.Pick Up facility: 5/10

b.Rates: 5/10

c.COD: 6/10

d.Deliverable Area: 5/10

e.Service: 5/10

3.Aramex

Although Aramex provides one of the best logistics solutions for ecommerce ventures, somewhere along the line they haven’t delivered as much as they promised. An amateur looking them up for availing their logistics support, will find all his needs satisfied. But more often than not, people have burnt their hands with Aramex, due to irregular and untimely deliveries, loss of packages and delay in account settlement in cases of COD.

a.Pick Up facility: 6/10

b.Rates: 7/10 | Approx. Rs. 60/ 500gms, depending on the deliverable area

c.COD: 6/10 | Min. charge of Rs. 75/ 500 gms or 4% of the invoice value, whichever is higher

d.Deliverable Area: 7/10

e.Service: 4/10

f.Track shipment: 5/10

4.India Post

Nope, you didn’t read it wrong. India Post does offer one of the most competitive logistics solutions and they top it up with one of the most expansive serviceable areas. India Post offers an EPP service which works out best for small businesses and entrepreneurs sending consignments all across India which weigh less that 35 kg. Pickup facility is offered free of cost for all consignments weighing less than 35kg, under this scheme. Though their rates are on par with other private players, their good service and domestic reach make it worth it.

a.Pick Up facility: 7/10

b.Rates: 7/10 | Rs. 30-90/ 500gms Depending on the distance from your location

c.COD: 7/10 | Offered as VPP and the charges applicable are Rs. 25/ order

d.Deliverable Area:9/10

e.Service: 8/10

f.Track shipment: 9/10

5.FedEx for domestic deliveries

FedEx India offers two reliable domestic services, FedEx® Priority Overnight and FedEx® Standard Overnight. Both these services are backed by the international service characteristics of FedEx:

  • Priority Overnight (PO): For all your documents and parcels (value < INR 5,000) 
  • Standard Overnight (SO): For all your commercial shipments (value > INR 5,000).

That said, FedEx does not have the same extensive coverage pan India like its competitors, though it can boast of good service in the areas it does service. Also, the same FedEx account can be used for domestic as well as international deliveries. Although their prices maybe a little steep, you can get them to drop prices upto 60-70%.

a.Pick Up facility: 7/10 | Approx. Rs. 200 on waybill

b.Rates: 6/10 | On an average, Rs. 32 – 72/kg or Rs. 70 – 148/kg, depending upon serviceable area and type of service

c.COD: 6/10 | Approx. Rs. 250 on waybill amount 

d.Deliverable Area:6/10

e.Service: 7/10

f.Track shipment: 8/10

6.First flight

First Flight has a long-standing established name as a courier service. But when it comes to using their services for ecommerce businesses, the domestic rates offered are considerably higher than what other logistics partners are offering. Speaking of their service, alot of ecommerce businesses have switched to better services after their customers complained about untimely and bad state of the deliveries. First flight offers COD as a value added service and you can request for a pickup online.

a.Pick Up facility: 5/10

b.Rates: 6/10 | Rs. 50-210/250 gms depending upon the zone of delivery

c.COD: 6/10

d.Deliverable Area:7/10

e.Service: 6/10

f.Track shipment: 6/10 Other logistics service providers worth a mention are TNT, Deccan, Maruti Courier. They have better performance in certain specific areas, and you would like to ask around about them. 

PS. All price quotes mentioned above are completely and absolutely subjective to the number of packages, the amount of transactions and the place you’re situated in. All prices quoted are a mere ballpark figure. They can be greatly negotiated or be higher than this depending on individual needs and requirements.  The infographic was first published on Trak.in


In the process of finalising your logistics provider? Start your online store with Zepo and start your shipments with FedEx, Gati and Dotzot all under one roof. What are you waiting for?

I’d Like to Sell Online and get Lowest Shipping Rates

 

  • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

    Hi Neena,

    We suggest you give FedEx a try. But also talk to other entrepreneurs who may be using their services to be a better judge.

  • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

    Hi Makarand,

    Zepo is an ecommerce platform which helps small businesses and entrepreneurs open their online stores in 5 minutes and start selling online easily. You can setup your online pet store and start selling.

    a) Users can easily customize the design of their website to match their brand image by choosing from over 100+ free themes.

    b) Store owners get a free payment gateway so that they can accept online payments through credit/debit cards. The payment gateway transaction charges vary depending upon your Zepo subscription.

    c) We have partnered with AVN to provide complete logistics assistance, which includes COD service and free pick-ups.

    d) We also provide limited marketing support i.e Newsletter marketing, Marketplace integration, etc.

    You can call us at 922 358 3358, if you’d like to know more. Or better still, give us your contact information and we’ll get back to you.

  • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

    Hey Kunal,

    Zepo is an ecommerce platform which helps small businesses and entrepreneurs open their online stores in 5 minutes and start selling online easily. You can setup your online pharmacy store and start selling.

    1. Users can easily customize the design of their website to match their brand image by choosing from over 100+ free themes.

    2. Store owners gets a free payment gateway so that they can accept online payments through credit/debit cards. The Payment gateway transaction charges vary depending upon your zepo subscription.

    3. We have partnered with AVN to provide complete logistics assistance, which includes COD service and free pick-ups.

    4. We also provide limited marketing support i.e NewsLetter marketing, Marketplace integration etc.

    This is about how we at Zepo can help you.

    Also, a word of advice, since you are planning to start an online pharmacy store.

    1. Only OTC medicines can be sold online
    2. Selling of adult products i.e Lubes, Sex Toys etc comes in the banned category and payment gateway will not be given for such products.
    3. Selling of condoms and contraceptive pills require special approval from the bank.
    4. You might be required to show Pharmacy License in some cases.
    5. Refund policy needs to be clearly defined for the products sold.

    Hope this answer helps. And do let us know how we could assist you further.

  • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

    Priyanka,

    Try sending it through a courier service like Professional Courier or Blue Dart. They should have your application delivered in time!

  • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

    Hi Chetna,

    All courier companies handle invoice management differently. Companies like FedEx do it electronically since they have a centralized system for the same.

    To give you a taste of how we handle invoices with ZePOST, Zepo’s logistics services:

    Invoice management via ZePOST is done automatically. Users are able to see the estimated invoice amount in their dashboard itself.

    However, actual bills are shared manually and all the settlements are done on the basis of manual bills.

    Hope this helps you formulate a clearer picture.

  • Suneel Pandey

    Hi, I have online bookstore I am looking COD service for books. Are you provide COD service if yes Please provide me Price.

    pandey.suneel@gmail.com

    • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

      Hi Suneel,

      All above mentioned courier companies provide COD service. You can get in touch with personally and find out their rates for the same.

  • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

    Hi Mani,

    We don’t have a price list for all the above mentioned courier companies. However, if you are looking at ZePOST, the price list for different zones can be found here: http://www.zepo.in/blog/2014/02/06/zepo-avn-logistics-extensive-pincode-coverage-lowest-logistics-rates-ecommerce-businesses/

  • John Britto

    Can Some one send me an updated price list. britto365@gmail.com

  • soumya

    Hi…i hav startd an online shopping business for dress materials.i want knw abt de cod facilities of courier services. To offer cod service vl de courier service ask for minimum quantity for a month or dey provide cod service option for even single courier. Being in de initial stage of my business..i wont b able to giv an exact numbr of materials..i vl b selling.without cod facility i wont b able to get customers.

  • Yashas Jagadeesh

    Hi i want to send envelope with gift voucher to different parts of the country. it should weigh less than 50 grams. Apart from speed post (by india post) is there any cheaper alernative?

  • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

    Hi Ash,

    In our opinion, FedEx is better. They have been in the logistics business for a long time and have a rather simplified delivery procedure, with a vast pin-code coverage. And FedEx’s COD service is also quite commendable.

    PS. Zeo has tied up with both FedEx and Gati to offer a stronger logistics support, ZePOST. Do have a look at the same. http://www.zepo.in/blog/2014/02/06/zepo-avn-logistics-extensive-pincode-coverage-lowest-logistics-rates-ecommerce-businesses/

  • Janani

    Hi, I am starting an online printing business. The printed products will be light weight only 100-200gms max but paying for 500gm always does not seem to be the right choice and moreover even my goods my sell only for ₹100 or so. What service can you suggest for an ecommerce business site like mine. Thanks

    • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

      Hi Janani,

      We understand your concern. As far as our experience with major courier companies is concerned, all of them have the minimum weight bracket of 500 gms.

      However, you can try local courier companies. The chances of them having a lower bracket than 500 gms is more plausible. Unfortunately, we don’t have much information about local players, so we wouldn’t be able to guide you with the same.

      Hope this helps.

    • Ashwin Rangarajan

      If you can share me your email id or facebook id i can give you a suggestion on the same

      • Yashas Jagadeesh

        hey Ashwin iam looking for the same solution as janani. yashas.j@gmail.com

  • mohit bhandari

    always fedex

  • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

    Hi Neethu,

    Thanks for your accurate feedback. We are sure it’ll help all of our other readers and e-tailers.

  • HARDIK GODHANIYA

    MOST POOR SERVICE AT ALL AWARD GOES TO DELHI-VERY COURIER.

    They have provided all contact information wrong. Even tracking is also deactive. The courier is also not deliver on time. When you want to ask something there is no way to contact them, YOU JUST HAVE TO KEEP FAITH IN GOD THAT YOUR COURIER WILL DELIVER TO YOU AND WAIT FOR IT.

    POOR POOR POOR POOR VERY POOR

  • Mukul

    Hi

    I would like to share recent experiences about bludart.

    From their tracking system I see the item is in my home town for last four days.

    This is happening 2nd time. Last time it happened I called them up after 5 days of waiting and then 1 day later got the item. This time I want to see how long they will take without any intimation.

    I usually get items within 3 days pan India.

    26/12/2013 18:02Out for deliveryShipment OutscanCALCUTTA COUNTRYSIDE

  • Arush

    hi… i need to knw sumthing really important… i need to send an electronic product to sum1… dis product really means alot to me.. do u think its safe and reliable to send dis product through india post [speed post] ??? if not suggest me sumthing pls…
    pls rply to dis comment as soon as possible… thanx… nd i really appreciate d table above…

    • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

      Hi Arush,

      Thanks for the appreciation on the post. However, it won’t be our place to decide on your behalf. This is a domestic courier service review for online retailers who want to send their products across India.

      If you as an individual want to send out something that holds great value to you, it would be better if you take word of advice from your friends. Although, yes, speed post is very reliable. As a suggestion, you can also try FedEx services.

  • saumya

    Dear Team.

    Ekart is only for Flipkart. They dont work with anyone but them.

    I guess theyre own logistic system.

    • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

      Thanks for the update Saumya!

  • Ramesh

    Hi,
    It is certainly a very good post for beginners in e-commerce.
    Can someone please provide details about E-Kart logistics? I came to know that e-kart is also very good option for e-commerce business and they cover COD option also.
    Thanks
    Ramesh.

    • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

      Hi Ramesh,

      We’ll surely include E-Kart in our next review of domestic courier services.

      Meanwhile, if anyone of our readers have tried their services, please do contribute and let us know how your experience has been.

  • Dharmesh

    Hi,

    Thanks for detailed knowledge on subject. I am looking for courier service who can provide delivery on same day at-least when delivery point & billing point both are in some metro cities. Also are there any cold supply chain service providers who can deliver products at faster rate even when load is just in some kg. Also where can i get detailed knowledge on cold supply chain service providers with such comparison.

    • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

      Hi Dharmesh,

      Thanks for the appreciation.

      Unfortunately, we don’t carry information on cold supply chain providers. And it would be difficult to point you in the right direction.

      • Dharmesh

        Thanks for your prompt response. can you help with data on same day delivery within metros of regular supply chain.

        In regards of cold supply chain,it would be highly appreciable if you can guide towards any basic knowledge on this matter on vatsdr@gmail.com.

  • Saurabh

    I am planning a new e-commerce startup. Please suggest which courier sevice should I use for pay-on-delivery and for timely transit and genuinity.

    • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

      Hi Saurabh,

      Since you are just starting out, India Post should be a good bet given that they have an extensive deliverable area. But at the same time are affordable. However, FedEx also seems like a good option given that they have great service.

      PS. We at Zepo provide FedEx logistics support at subsidized rates to all our Zepo online stores. You can check it out here: http://www.zepo.in/blog/2013/04/02/fedex-logistics-support-for-zepo-powered-online-stores/

      Hope this helps. All the very best with your venture.

  • Avisek

    Blue Dart Kolkata, says they want a Minimum business of 30,000 INr per month making it difficult for a new startup company to fullfill, at the same time Fedex’s COD with 250 Inr/ delivery makes it more tough, As per a Review posted here, India post has a good match but then its COD is not a good performer in this segment, Please advice which Company would be better to deal with for startups.

    • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

      Hi Avisek,

      Agreed, that most courier companies will demand for a minimum business requirement to offer you lower delivery rates. You can have a look at FedEx too. They have a good extensive deliverable area and service is extraordinary.

      However, a word of advice, if you would like to go in for BlueDart or any other courier agency for that matter, you can approach them in groups. Get together a couple of start-ups together and then approach them. They may lower their rates for the same.

  • Deepak

    hi. thanx for info..
    As you mentioned some points regarding the COD settlement days of India post is more.
    can you avail these details for others also..

    Like the basic requirement, which comes to mind like
    1. Any Deposit?

    2. what Documents these require? then
    3. any initial charges or setup free taken by these courier services.
    4. How many days they require to give us money back ?
    and any other points like this

    What are strength for one and what are their weakness.. as i have heard bluedart is unable to reach in some states of North India..

    it would be helpful if you make a comparative table or chart for these questions
    thanks

    Deepak

    • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

      Hey Deepak,

      Answers to all these questions will vary from company to company. But we will take your suggestion into consideration. And try coming up with a comparative table soon, that should give you answers to your questions.

      Do keep dropping by and giving your feedback on our posts. Appreciate it.

  • md jafrulla

    asper this review when india post is more than enough, y most of the vendors select other courier service for ecommerce?

    • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

      Hey Jafrulla,

      Depending on the needs of every vendor, each feels comfortable with a certain courier service.

      For example, for a vendor heavily dependent on COD as a mode of payment, India Post doesn’t fare well. Since India Post takes longer to settle COD payments. Similarly, for a vendor extensively delivering all across India, even to the remotest places, feels more comfortable with India Post thanks to its extensive reach.

      So every vendor will choose the courier service that caters well to them in a particular domain. India Post by far is a good option, because of its affordability and extensive reach.

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