The price hike effective earlier this month, those briefed on the matter said, is more tactical in nature as logistics players have seen aggregators pricing aggressively for shipment deliveries compared to their own rates. for corporate clients or even SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).
Aggregators like Shiprocket do not own warehouses or build their own delivery infrastructure. They consolidate orders and route them to companies like Delhivery, Ecom Express and others.
These platforms have started to gain traction in aggregating delivery orders from niche direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, local businesses and other SMEs, while players like Delhivery, Xpressbees and others deal directly with corporate customers with higher shipping volumes.
Sources said e-commerce-focused delivery companies were also spooked by the fact that some of their corporate customers were being courted by aggregators offering cheaper rates.
“They (the three main players) got together and increased aggregator rates at the same time starting April 1. In some cases, the increase in rates can be up to 50%,” said one of the people mentioned. above. ET also saw emails from Delhivery and Xpressbees notifying aggregators of their price revisions.
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Delhivery, Shiprocket and Pickrr did not respond to questions. Ecom Express co-founder and CEO TA Krishnan, Xpressbees co-founder and CEO Amitava Saha and Shipyaari’s Nayan Ratandharaya declined to comment.
“In order to continually increase the number of shipments, aggressive pricing has caused significant disruption,” said one quoted above. “For small orders from aggregators, they (delivery companies) now have to share their bandwidth across those customers, while corporate customers have also raised questions about how an aggregator offers them cheaper prices than when they work directly with a delivery company.” ET saw a note from Shipyaari to its clients saying “all the major players got together and implemented this without giving us much time to think.”
Sources informed about this said that Xpressbees, for example, has increased the rate bands for aggregators. They will be charged at the new rates for customers placing up to 1,000 orders per day, then 5,000 orders per day and so on. Delhivery, Ecom Express have also taken similar action.
Interestingly, the rate hike for aggregators came at a time when many of them are also in various stages of talks to raise new funds at higher valuations. Sources said due diligence was underway at Pickrr for a new round of funding. Shiprocket, among the largest aggregators, was valued at $900-950 million after a $185 million round led by Zomato, Temasek and Lightrock. It is said to be exploring a new funding round at a significantly higher valuation.
Xpressbees became a unicorn on February 10 after closing a $300 million funding round while Delhivery and Ecom Express worked on listing plans, which are now being postponed due to market volatility, especially for new age businesses. Aggregators are not yet fully passing on the price increase to their customers. It’s unclear how long they plan to continue serving orders at the old rates, the people quoted above said.