Swiggy & Grofers Face Delivery Issues As India Goes Into Lockdown
India’s e-commerce players are allowed to operate during lockdown but even then delivery operations faced issues.
Popular delivery services like Swiggy, Grofers, and Zomato among others were affected as local authorities didn’t allow their delivery agents to move about in different parts of the country after public life was put on lockdown.
Even though these companies were exempted from the order, classified as “essential services,” police on the ground didn’t adhere to the written notification, and companies claim their warehouses were forced to shut down, while the delivery staff was stopped from doing their work.
Issues were also faced by delivery staff from e-commerce giants like Flipkart, Amazon and BigBasket among others. Because of this, many users who pre-ordered their stocks had to wait for long hours, and in some cases have their orders delayed to the next day.
All these companies have confirmed to The Quint about the situation, which was mostly observed on Sunday, 22 March as the local authorities were still going through the fine print of the government order.
“Due to some confusion regarding the services exempted, many of our delivery riders were stopped by police administration, which led to a delay in the delivery of almost 60,000 orders countrywide on 22 March. Furthermore, in a few states including Maharashtra, we are also facing forced shut down of warehouses in these difficult times.”Albinder Dhindsa, Co-founder & CEO, Grofers to The Quint
Zomato and Swiggy faced similar issues and said they are working relentlessly with the government authorities to resume operations in a normal manner.
“These are unprecedented times. The government has provided strong guidance which we are adhering by and trying our best to execute on the ground. Coordinating with multiple local authorities is challenging. However, we are hoping to iron this out soon.”Zomato spokesperson to The Quint
Sources at Swiggy mentioned that delivery agents were facing issues before but now things are coming back to normalcy for the company as the e-commerce sector gets its support on the ground.
Flipkart pointed out similar actions from its end, as it looks to ease shopping trips by sticking to home-delivery of goods in the current situation.
“There are operational issues on-ground which impact our ability to seamlessly service the communities as they stay indoors. We are working with the Central and State government as an industry to solve these challenges.”Flipkart to The Quint
This is what Amazon has to say on the situation with its delivery operations across the country.
“We are working with the local authorities to enable us to perform these important services providing safety for our delivery associates and allowing them to make sure those priority goods can arrive safely at our customers’ homes without any disruption.”Amazon India to The Quint
Keeping Delivery Staff Safe
With shops being asked to close, online services become a critical ingredient in making sure goods reach consumers, without them having to come outdoors.
But what about the people who’re stepping out on the road, carrying the packages, are they getting enough assurances from the companies?
“We have taken multiple precautions to ensure the safety of our supply chain and last-mile delivery through regular sanitisation of our facilities and delivery vehicles (for groceries), ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees across the network.”Flipkart
“We are sharing videos with our partners and putting them on our partner app to allow easy access to information. The idea is to regularly distribute the right information so that our delivery partners can focus on their well being while ensuring the safe handling of food.”Zomato spokesperson
Until 31 March, home-delivery of groceries and other essentials is going to play a critical role in day-to-day life as the country goes into lockdown.
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