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India's logistics firms expand as e-commerce market booms

Published Tue, Feb 24, 2015 · 09:50 PM

Mumbai

ABOUT five years ago, e-commerce didn't mean much for India's biggest package shipping company. With a boom in online shopping now in the nation of 1.2 billion people, Blue Dart Express is expanding.

The unit of DHL Express is adding a Boeing 757 freighter to its fleet of five in the country and building warehouses for sellers using portals such as Amazon.com and Flipkart.com, Malcolm Monteiro, chief executive officer of DHL eCommerce, said.

"Up to five years ago, you never had e-commerce figuring in BlueDart's list of top five verticals," said Mr Monteiro, who oversees all of Blue Dart's operations. "Today, it is the largest vertical and demand is far outstripping supply."

India's online retailing market has grown to about US$6 billion in five years, as free delivery and heavy discounting lure millions to buy everything from lingerie to furniture. Yet, e-commerce is just getting started. Online sales are likely to reach 3 per cent of the entire Indian retail market by 2020 from less than half a per cent now, PriceWaterhouseCoopers s…

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