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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

 

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Apart from providing online stores to entrepreneurs, Zepo is actually teaching them on how to do online business. Fantastic work guys!! So, I think I can ask this question: To courier the products, we would need to pack it as well so that Bluedart can pick it up from the warehouse and deliver it to the customer. So who are the good players in the market who can provide us with the cheap and effective packaging solutions. You may in fact, write a blog post on it :)

Tanya Rao

Tanya Rao

  • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

    Hi Nandan,

    Would like to propose an easier way of doing this. Instead of asking your vendors to ship products and collect money for you, why not you do it yourself. That way, there’ll be lesser complications and it’ll all still be in your hand.

    If you are planning on using Zepo and ZePOST as your automated shipping and logistics partner, you can have multiple pick-ups points for each one of your vendors. And they can then be sent to your respective customers. Also, once money is credited to your account, you can send the money to your vendors, after cutting your costs.

    Does this sound good? Do let us know.

  • http://zepo.in/ Zepo

    Hi C Rege,

    Thanks for writing in to us. We’ll get back to you shortly. However, if it’s rather urgent and you would like to talk to us, you can also reach us at +91 922 358 3358.

  • 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.

  • Neena

    I have a retail store. I am planing to open an ecommerce platform for my clothing store. Which courier service is the best for that which covers safety, pickup service and COD service. Your suggestion highly appreciated

  • 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.

  • Makarand Dixit

    hello, I am planning to open a online petshop. how can u help me??

  • 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.

  • Kunal Jain

    hi,
    We are planning to start an online pharmacy store. What are the services you provide and also guide with logistics solution, Cost per transactions and other T&C for the same

  • 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!

    • prince

      priyanka can i have your no.?

  • priyanka

    sir I have to send my application to govt.job gaya bihar within 2 days which courier service is best because i don’t have 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.

  • Chetna

    Hello,

    How do these courier companies do their invoice management?

    that is – how do these companies provide us the invoices -electronically or manually, how frequently do they do this, how are they paid and how do we verify these invoices? Do these services have a software in place for all this?

  • 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/

  • mani

    Can you send me the updated price list at numitgreenenergy@gmail.com

  • 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/

  • ash

    i need help.. i am starting up an e commerce business..pls telme which one is better fedex or go javas for pan india cash on delivery service. which one has better service

  • Food Store

    Hi, We have started online web store and we are already in working. we sell food items so there is 2-3 KG weight/order average. We are in seeking for good logistic company which provide us a courier and COD service to all over India. In short we need a company which provide us all type of eCommerce store service needed. so please any would know who gave all about this services please inform us.currently we work with local courier service which is not giving fully satisfactions.

    • Rahul Verma

      What’s the name of your food store

  • 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

      • Vinaykumar

        Could u please let suggest me also ? am also into similar situation

  • mohit bhandari

    always fedex

  • Dimple

    Hello,

    We are planning a new e-commerce startup. We wanted to deliver bulk items with average weight 3-5 kg with 2-3 days delivery period, can u suggest which logistic provider will be better because if we go by above rates than it will cost Rs. 500 approx.

    Further, How do online retail sites like Flipkart, eBay, Snapdeal, etc deal with shipping big items like LED TVs, washing machines, refrigerators? and how much they charged.

    Thank You.

  • Guest

    Whenever I receive consignment from Blue Dart they will give me a call and ask me to pick up the item from their office instead of delivering to my home address. I find this habit of theirs very annoying.

    Should they be delivering to my home which I had given as shipment address? Can you please suggest other dependable couriers who will be able to make deliveries at my doorstep? Thank you.

  • 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.

  • neethu d

    In my opinion.. Blue dart has a very bad tracking system. They almost always display the same late message.. “shipment late contact customer care” and I ve never seen them updating the location details on intermediate days.. very little concern for customer requests. They don’t give out local contact information even after calling up customer care, (bored and impolite tone) they said they don’t give out local contact details. They can’t help you if you want to know when they might be coming in for delivery. . Finally if you do manage to find the contact number.. they don’t pick up the phone. Infact last time i tried to contact them after ringing for two full times..ey just kept the reciever off the phone.. coz every one of the numbers were engaged for the next two hrs…
    So unless the field person deigns to calls you up. . Its like your precious consignment is in a black hole..
    Fedex has a much better service system from customer point of view atleast. much more polite. Faster service in most areas.

  • 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.

    • Shipaholic Plus

      We are a Fedex / UPS & DHL authorized pack & ship
      center located in Elmhurst, Illinois, USA. Currently we have some online
      retail vendors based in India who, sell their products directly to U.S.
      consumers through Amazon & eBay.
      They ship the products directly to the buyers in the U.S.
      via courier service. If the product is defective or unsatisfactory or any other
      reasons the buyers want either a refund or exchange they are instructed to ship
      the item locally to our location in the U.S.
      We offer them the following services for these vendors:
      1) We receive the item from their buyers
      2) Send a condition report via email
      immediately upon receipt of the item
      3) Store them until a decent volume
      has be collected
      4) Pack & reship them back to
      India via Airfreight or Ocean freight to the vendor.
      This is a service that has evidently increased their sales
      volumes as we can see from the amounts of returns we have be receiving on
      behalf of these vendors. If you are interested in such an arrangement you may
      contact us for further details.
      Thanking you,
      K. Iyer
      President
      Shipaholic Plus
      http://www.shipaholicplus.com