In the present business environment speed to market is of crucial importance for most industry segments. Businesses need logistics services tuned to such requirements for reaching out to the customers within tight timelines, delivering products. The speed of deliveries is critical for garnering sales across regions, meeting customer expectations and maintaining the business competitiveness. The express industry, by creating an integrated door to-door linkage across domestic and international regions along with shipment tracking facilities serves the need for time sensitive logistics services.
The express industry caters to multiple industry segments as well as to individual customers by providing time bound logistics services. The customers use express delivery services for shipment of various products, while multiple industry segments use express delivery services, certain industry segments like auto components, banking and financial services, IT components, readymade garments, pharmaceuticals, and telecom products are the largest customer segments for the express industry in India. The express industry serves the need of domestic as well as international business through their global networks.
The express industry in India has come a long way from its origin in modern form in 1980s. The industry has grown in size and reach. A significant number of players have scaled up their operations and are large businesses in their own right. The industry has invested in information technology systems and set up good processes and proprietary systems capable for handling large volumes.
According to Credit Rating Agency (Care) the size of the Indian express industry is miniscule when compared to the global express industry but it is one of the fastest growing sectors in India and has attained a size almost equivalent to the shipping industry.
The Express industry is a premium segment of the logistics industry, providing logistics services for movement of time perceptive shipments. By creating an integrated sequence including multi-modal transport modes, both air and surface, express industry has fine-tuned the logistics process for time-bound deliveries of shipments across domestic and international regions.
India’s Express market has seen a growth of around 17% during 2010-14. The market of Express delivery has been on an increasing trend since 2012 as India started participating in the e-tailing business and with increased market penetration of automobiles. Compared to the overall logistics industry which is limping at a moderate CAGR of 3 percent, Express Industry is quick in terms of growth in market size along with related improvement in policies and infrastructure.
However, it is expected that the booming e-commerce market and hyperlocal space will prompt the Express market in coming years. Besides providing critical services and aiding economic growth, the Indian express industry has significant contribution to the economy. As a labour intensive industry, the express industry is estimated to presently employ about 11.9 lakhs persons, directly and indirectly.
The express industry offers an integrated shipment delivery services to its customers. Express services also provide visibility of the shipments to the customers through the tracking mechanism. However, the operations of the express industry are complex involving multiple activities and parties. The express industry is a fragmented industry with large number of players; presently have about 72% share of the industry revenue with the semi-organized players estimated to have another 15% share while smaller players have the remaining market share.
The larger players have wide networks with presence in national and international locations. The medium size players have a regional focus with limited presence across other regions. The smaller players are mostly unorganized and have much smaller networks limited to few cities and towns. The larger players have made considerable investment in network and processes including information technology infrastructure and transport assets and are able to handle large volumes across multiple locations.
The express industry in India forms a significant part of the logistics industry. By providing an integrated time-bound door-to-door delivery services, the industry is catering to the requirements of business as well as retail customer to deliver shipments under tight timelines. In addition, the industry makes significant contribution towards employment and exchequer. The industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the logistics industry. The industry is poised for high growth in future though the same is constrained by inadequate transport infrastructure and procedural delays at gateway checkpoints (airports, state border checkpoints) in addition to threats from the regulatory restrictions and economic slowdown.