Amazon launches India’s largest specialised fulfilment centre, aims for 20,000 deliveries a day this festive season

Amazon India has opened its largest specialised fulfilment centre in India, offering a storage capacity of more than 1.2 million cubic feet. Abhinav Singh, Director – Amazon Transportation Services in India, tells YourStory about the ecommerce giant’s plans during the festive season and ahead.

Seattle-based ecommerce giant Amazon launched India’s largest specialised fulfilment centre in Bengaluru on Thursday. The specialised fulfilment centre has a storage capacity of over 1.2 million cubic feet, and can store and manage customer orders from the large appliances and furniture category. 

This festive season, the team is looking to fulfil over 20,000 orders in a day from the specialised centre. 

With this infrastructure expansion, will now offer storage capacity of more than four million cubic feet across four fulfilment centres to its close to 35,000 sellers across Karnataka. Amazon is also expanding three sort centres in the state with more than three lakh square feet of sortation area.

Ramping up operations 

This specialised fulfilment centre will increase the ecommerce giant’s storage capacity by more than 40 percent. The company has also added close to 200 delivery stations, including those operated by delivery service partners across the country to further its direct reach. 

Amazon India has expanded the Amazon Flex delivery programme to now serve 65 cities. Under the ‘I Have Space’ (IHS) programme, Amazon India has more than 28,000 retail stores who fulfil last mile deliveries for Amazon in over 350 cities.

The team is also ramping up and building a strong delivery network with close to 140 Amazon-owned and delivery service partner stations in Karnataka.

The ecommerce biggie has also started Amazon Easy Ship, a programme that enables sellers from different parts of the country to leverage its delivery network will help more than 6.5 lakh sellers in 2,500 cities and towns across the country this festive season. 

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said ecommerce companies like Amazon had complemented the government’s efforts by not only meeting the needs of customers by safely delivering essentials but also helping MSMEs, which moved online to grow and expand their businesses during the pandemic.

“The fresh investment by Amazon in India will create more job opportunities for local youth and also enable these MSMEs to sell their Made in Karnataka products all over India and the world,” the chief minister said.

The changing face of ecommerce 

In a conversation with YourStory, Abhinav Singh, Director – Amazon Transportation Services, spoke about the ecommerce giant’s plans for India and what it plans to do during this festive season. 

Abhinav Singh, Director - Amazon Transportation Services

Edited excerpts from the interview:

YourStory (YS): Tell us more about the specialised fulfilment centre, the operational changes you’ve made, and what are the aims? 

Abhinav Singh (AS): The new specialised fulfilment centre in Karnataka will help ensure that customers can enjoy festive shopping from the comfort and safety of their homes. All large appliances and furniture will be present at the specialised fulfilment centre. The space will allow for the entry of large trucks, and easy shipment of products and goods from warehouses to consumer homes. 

The centre will help all our sellers store their products and ensure easy delivery. We have worked and will continue to work closely with health officials and in line with Amazon’s global standards, and have already implemented close to 100 changes in operational processes. These include social distancing and daily temperature checks on entry and exit at the work site. 

We have technological measures in place to ensure that norms like social distancing and temperature checks are in place. Even if this means increasing the fulfilment centre. It was in line with this that we had announced that we would add 10 new fulfilment centres and expand the seven existing sites, across India.

YS: Why the need for a large specialised fulfilment centre? 

AS: We determined the need for a fulfilment centre to ensure that inventory is as close to the customer as possible. This ensures safe and even next-day delivery. We believe that with a fulfilment centre like this, we will be able to fulfil customer orders in the fastest way possible. 

Amazon's specialised fulfilment centre in Bengaluru

The high customer base and volume in Karnataka made us realise the need for a large specialised fulfilment centre in the state. 

While this fulfilment centre is a pre-planned launch, there are others like ‘soft centres’ and delivery centres, which have also been launched to augment capacity. We already have a network of specialised fulfilment centres across the country in 16 states. . 

YS: From an operational viewpoint to consumer behaviour, what changes do you foresee this festive season, considering we are amidst a pandemic? 

AS: The pandemic has changed the way we think of our world, healthcare systems, and the way in which we interact with the world around us. It has also changed the way we think about ecommerce. 

There is a lot more trust in transactions online, and people are starting to realise that they don’t have to make a trade-off between lifestyle choices and safety. They can make lifestyle choices from the safety of their homes. The homeschooling phenomenon has changed what people think are essentials. 

There is a need for electronic gadgets to get online. There is a demand for home office furniture. There is a growth of electronic media consumption via laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc. 

The specialised centre aims to fulfil all these demands. We aim to fulfil over 20,000 orders in a day from this fulfilment centre this festive season. 

YS: How do you bring a balance between safety and speed of delivery?

AS: We don’t believe that safety can be traded for speed. Safety always comes first. Customer trust is the most crucial element for everything we do at Amazon. 

The important thing for the customer is safety across the supply chain. They want to be confident of that we haven’t only taken precautions at the doorstep, or during the delivery, but across the overall value chain. 

Having said that, when ecommerce is emerging as an essential channel of supply, it becomes important that we make infrastructure investments that ensure there is increased capacity along with speed and safety

We have partnered with the railways and airlines. The idea is to innovate to fulfil customer expectations from a speed perspective in the safest possible way. 

YS: What can we expect from Amazon in the next few months? 

AS: This festive season, we are all set to give the customers the best deals, product range, and finance options. This along with fast, reliable, and safe delivery. With a focus on speed, reliability, pricing, and selection, we will build capacity and partner with different stakeholders. 

Edited by Teja Lele Desai