Seeing longer delivery time in some cities due to high demand, movement restrictions: Bigbasket

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New Delhi, Apr 21 (PTI) Online grocery ordering platform Bigbasket on Wednesday said it is witnessing extended timelines for deliveries in some cities due to 'unexpectedly' high demand and movement restrictions.

Various state governments have announced weekend curfews and lockdowns to rein in the second wave of the pandemic, which is seeing a record number of cases being reported daily. Most states have allowed the delivery of essentials via e-commerce.

Delhi, for example, has announced a lockdown from 10 pm on April 19 to 5 am on April 26. Movement of people engaged in 'delivery of essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through e-commerce' has been allowed.

'The second wave of the pandemic has led to a huge surge in orders across all cities on our platform. In view of the pandemic situation, we had worked on increasing our capacity and building infrastructure throughout last year and also in early 2021,' Bigbasket said in a statement.

This scale-up has helped Bigbasket in making deliveries in all its operating cities, 'albeit with extended timelines in some cities due to unexpectedly high demand and movement restrictions', it added.

A total of 2,95,041 fresh infections were registered in a span of 24 hours, while the active cases crossed the 21-lakh mark with a record 2,023 daily fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

E-commerce companies are steering through the twin challenges of delivering on time the expanding number of orders from customers and keeping their workforce safe even as the number of COVID cases across the country continue to soar.

Over the past few weeks, the demand in categories like grocery, essential items like sanitisers and masks, books, consumer electronics and appliances, has gone up across various parts of the country. However, many administrations are only allowing the delivery of essentials like grocery and medicines through e-commerce.

FreshToHome, an online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce, said this time the players are better prepared and there are no hiccups as such.

'...We are witnessing about a 12 per cent increase in the number of orders in the last two weeks...With the increase in demand in the last few weeks, we are enhancing the fleet and ramping up the number of delivery associates to ensure a great delivery experience to customers,' Shan Kadavil, CEO and co-founder of FreshToHome, said.

The company's team deep cleans the delivery vehicles, processing centre premises and equipment twice a day, while regularly monitoring the temperature of all delivery and processing centre associates, he added. PTI SR BAL BAL