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Online marketplace, Flipkart in a bid to strengthen its delivery capabilities has announced that it has partnered with one of the unions of Mumbai Dabbawalas for last mile delivery of the products ordered through the portal.

According to the company, the partnership currently includes delivery of only prepaid orders, and cash on delivery orders will be included later.

Under this tie up, Dabbawalas will collect shipments from delivery hubs of Flipkart and deliver it the customers, while picking their dabbas, the dabbawalas will not be interacting with sellers for now.

According to the company, one first batch of dabbawalas have undergone training at Flipkart’s delivery centres. Further, for now, there will be a paper-based tracking system and gradually the company train them to use mobile apps and wearable devices as well.

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“The dabbawalas of Mumbai are one of the most reliable and trusted brands in the city. Their unique delivery system has been smooth, reliable and has survived the test of time-even under extreme conditions that are atypical to a city like Mumbai,” said Neeraj Aggarwal, senior director-last mile delivery at Flipkart.

With this, the company has also launched a crowd sourced delivery option called on-demand logistics, that aims to connect local sellers and buyers through voluntary delivery personnel, reducing the order to delivery time.

“These delivery personnel are on-boarded onto a specialised Flipkart delivery program post extensive background verifications and are free to take up Flipkart deliveries as per their convenience,” the company said “This process helps reduce the delivery process checks by enabling these delivery personnel to directly collect the package from the local seller and deliver it to the buyer, managing to reduce the order to delivery time to as little as three to four hours.”

The company is also running a pilot of the on-demand logistics for sellers and customers in Bengaluru for shipments of less than INR 5,000 in value.

To be noted, there are also reports that Flipkart might also start selling grocery and Amazon had launched KiranaNow.

Not to forget, Snapdeal too is working hard to improve its logistics capabilities, it has recently acquired stake in Gojavas and has reportedly also acquired Unicommerce.

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