Covid19 Tech Impact
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In the wake of the lockdown and overburdened with orders, grocery delivery platforms are facing a shortage of delivery-partners. To address the issue, these online grocers like BigBasket and Flipkart are now in talks with ride-hailing platforms to help them resolve the crunch to deliver essential products on time.
For the same, Flipkart is in advanced discussions with Uber. The ecommerce major, which recently started selling groceries, is also approaching the government to get necessary approvals.
As of now, Flipkart is looking to deliver groceries via Uber cabs in 10 cities. Drivers, in these cities, can pick up orders from Flipkart warehouses and deliver them to customers. Drivers who had lost income due to the lockdown will also get a chance to earn some money through this arrangement.
On the other hand, BigBasket has reportedly told customers that the company is trying to rope in cab-hailing companies to ensure the timely delivery of orders. The company is also in talks with restaurant workers, who have lost their jobs as a result of lockdown, to amplify delivery fleet, which is said to be running on 40% of the original capacity.
Currently, Flipkart and BigBasket are in the final stages of the arrangement. They are discussing the commission of cab drivers and how much they need to pay for the service as well. In some places, Uber drivers have already started delivering groceries for Flipkart.
Uber, Ola Coming To The Rescue
After the announcement of the 21-day lockdown, instated to curb the spread of coronavirus, online grocers witnessed a surge in the new orders. However, the lockdown indirectly also came with certain restrictions for these players which delayed the delivery of essential products.
Further, the lockdown also forced many delivery partners of these companies to leave the city and move back to their hometowns. In this scenario, while the number of orders increased significantly, the manpower to deliver these orders decreased drastically.
To resolve these issues, online grocers are now looking for allies which can help them to come out of the situation. A Flipkart spokesperson said that to enable essential supplies across the country, from sellers and vendors to the customers, its teams are exploring all possible collaboration ideas, including having conversations with cab aggregators.
Besides ensuring the delivery of essential, cab-hailing companies have also offered their taxis to government agencies and healthcare organisations. Recently, Uber has launched a new service called UberMedic to provide transportation support to frontline healthcare providers. Uber’s rival Ola has offered 500 cars to the Karnataka government for Covid-19 pandemic-related work. In this initiative, Ola is providing taxis for healthcare staffers, transportation of medicine and other essential healthcare services for emergencies.