In recent years, with the rapid growth of e-commerce, the global logistics industry has seen significant advancements in fields of artificial and augmented intelligence, advanced analytics, and automation, to name a few. Amazon, the King of E-commerce, has won approval to operate its fleet of delivery drones which is undoubtedly a move closer to its goal of 30-minute delivery. Over the past two years, the company has also spent billions of dollars transitioning from two-day to one-day delivery. We can thereby fathom the increasing demand for logistic services in ensuring customer satisfaction by providing quality products in the promised timeframe.
Any e-commerce transaction has four components: market flow, fund flow, knowledge flow, and logistics. Among these, the most unique aspect would be logistics, which includes transportation, storage, loading and unloading, distribution, and logistics knowledge management. E-commerce must achieve a seamless match with modern logistics before it can be referred to as true e-commerce.
Traditional and legacy courier services in Bangladesh, such as Sundarban, Continental, and a few others, provide nationwide coverage but have limited digital integration and poor customer service. Between 2015 and 2016, a new generation of logistics tech startups began to flood the market in order to support Bangladesh's burgeoning ecommerce industry.
The pandemic has solidified the position of E-commerce in the country. According to the German online portal Statista, the Bangladesh e-commerce industry stood at $2 billion in 2020 and can reach $3 billion by 2023. It is estimated that there are currently 2,000 e-commerce sites and 50,000 Facebook-based outlets, with only a few major cities accounting for 80% of online sales. As customers shifted their shopping needs online, the e-commerce market experienced a whopping 166 percent growth in 2020.
While e-commerce accounts for just 1% of retail sales, it has provided a tremendous opportunity for e-delivery companies. Several new logistics tech startups are joining the market in order to tackle massive e-commerce delivery demands, while existing players are expanding their capacities.
By offering innovative digital platforms, a new generation of logistics tech startups in Bangladesh like Paperfly, e-Courier, RedX, Pathao, Delivery Tiger, and E-logistics, among others, are reshaping the local logistics landscape.
Some of the important players in Dhaka’s fast-evolving logistics scene