Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (2024)

Ever wondered how your favorite products reach you so swiftly? Behind the scenes, top logistics companies in India are orchestrating seamless operations, ensuring timely delivery from origin to consumption. These logistics brands are the backbone of the supply chain, driving India's economy forward.

The Indian Logistics Industry: A Snapshot

The logistics sector supports over 22 million livelihoods and contributes 14.4 percent to India’s GDP. Expected to grow by over 8 percent CAGR, the sector is on track to reach $320 billion by 2025. This rapid growth underscores the importance of logistics brands in India, as they innovate and expand to meet rising demands.

Top 10 Logistics Companies in India

Here are the leading logistic brands in India, each contributing uniquely to the industry’s landscape and driving its evolution.

1. Gati Limited: Leading Logistics and Supply Chain Solutions in India

Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (1)

Founded in 1989, Gati Limited is a pioneer in India's express distribution and supply chain solutions. As a part of the Allcargo Group, Gati’s extensive network covers 99 percent of India’s districts, ensuring unparalleled reach. The company recorded its highest-ever quarterly revenue of Rs 379 crore in Q3 FY 2023, with EBITDA growth of 28 percent YoY. Recently, Gati partnered with Tech Mahindra to develop the Gati Enterprise Management System (GEMS 2.0), enhancing productivity, and customer experience, and reducing costs. Vivek Agarwal, President of Tech Mahindra, emphasized that this partnership will help Gati scale performance and lead tech-led transformation in the express logistics segment.

2. Unicommerce: Leading E-commerce Logistics Brand

Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (2)

Unicommerce, established in 2012, is India’s largest e-commerce enablement SaaS platform, facilitating end-to-end e-commerce management for brands and logistics service providers. The company reported an 8 percent net profit growth in FY23 and operating revenues of Rs 51 crore in H1 FY24. Recently, Unicommerce partnered with Wonderchef to streamline e-commerce supply chains and enhance customer experience through automated order processing. "With Unicommerce’s reliable platform, we are confident of staying ahead of the competition as our innovative products gain traction in Indian and overseas markets," said Ravi Saxena, Founder & CEO, Wonderchef.

Data PointDetails
Founded2012
HeadquartersGurgaon, Haryana, India
Services Offered
  • E-commerce Enablement SaaS Platform
  • Inventory Management System
  • Order Management System (OMS)
  • Warehouse Management System (WMS)
  • Omni-channel Retail Management System
  • Integrated POS and ERP Systems
  • Multi-channel Order Management
  • Shipping and Logistics Integrations
Key Milestones
  • 2017: Named among top e-commerce enablers
  • 2023: Achieved 750 million annual transaction run-rate
  • 2023: Over 3,500 customers, 8,000 warehouses, and 1,900 stores
Market PresenceSupports over 3,500 brands and retailers, operating in 220+ cities in India and the Middle East. Processes over 100 million orders annually, representing 15-20% of Indian e-commerce transactions.

3. DTDC: Leading Technology-Enabled Logistics Brand

Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (3)

DTDC offers a wide range of technology-enabled logistics solutions for various industries. Transitioning from a home-grown courier service to a recognized express logistics brand, DTDC now provides integrated delivery solutions to retail customers and businesses. In FY23, DTDC's operating revenues surpassed Rs 2000 crore, a 21.8 percent increase from the previous year, with PAT growing at a 59.78 percent CAGR over three years.

The brand expanded into the Malaysian market, enhancing its presence in Southeast Asia. Collaborating with Aramex, DTDC strengthened its cross-border logistics capabilities, offering export and import services between India, Singapore, and Australia, and managing local deliveries in Malaysia.

Data PointDetails
Founded1990
HeadquartersBangalore, Karnataka, India
Services Offered
  • Express Parcel Delivery
  • International Shipments
  • Integrated E-commerce Logistics
  • Cross Border Management
  • Warehousing and E-Fulfilment
  • Last Mile Delivery
Key Milestones
  • 1990: Founded
  • 2000: Expanded internationally
  • 2013: GeoPost acquired 42% stake
  • 2023: Delivering 12 million parcels a month
Market PresenceDTDC operates in over 240 countries with a direct international presence in 21 countries including Singapore, U.S., UK, Canada, UAE, China, and Australia.

4. Mahindra Logistics: Aiming for Rs 10,000 Crore by FY 2026

Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (4)

Mahindra Logistics aims to become a Rs 10,000 crore logistics service provider by FY 2026, focusing on seamless logistics solutions and stakeholder collaboration. Its partnership with Seino Holdings enhances integrated logistics solutions in India, emphasizing technology, innovation, and operational excellence. Mahindra Logistics is dedicated to creating efficient supply chains and delivering optimal logistics solutions nationwide. "In collaboration with Mahindra Logistics, we aim to serve Japanese customers in India with comprehensive logistics solutions supported by digitization and innovation," said Yosh*taka Taguchi, CEO, Seino Holdings.

Data PointDetails
Founded2007
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra, India
Services Offered
  • Contract Logistics
  • Cross Border Logistics
  • Last Mile Delivery
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Freight Forwarding
  • Enterprise On-call
Key Milestones
  • 2007: Founded as a division of Mahindra & Mahindra
  • 2017: Became a publicly traded company
  • 2023: Reported revenue of ₹51.2 billion
Market PresenceMahindra Logistics operates in China, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Western Europe, and the US. It provides logistics solutions to various industries, including automotive, engineering, consumer goods, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals.

5. Apollo Supply Chain: Leading Integrated Logistics Provider

Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (5)

Apollo Supply Chain, part of the Apollo Group, is a leading integrated logistics provider serving industries like consumer durables, automotive, and e-commerce. With a turnover of $2.3 billion, Apollo Supply Chain partners with over 150 brands, offering services such as transport management and warehouse solutions. The brand’s extensive network covers over 18,000 pin codes, delivering optimized logistics solutions across India. Its technology services include transport management systems, warehouse management systems, control tower, and analytics solutions.

Data PointDetails
Founded2009
HeadquartersGurgaon, Haryana, India
Services Offered
  • Integrated Supply Chain Solutions
  • Freight Management
  • Contract Logistics
  • Multiuser Facilities
  • E-commerce Logistics
Key Milestones
  • 2009: Founded
  • 2012: Formed joint venture with FIEGE Integrated Logistics
  • 2014: Acquired Kashipur Infrastructure and Freight Terminal
  • 2016: Acquired Wifin Technologies (India)
Market PresenceApollo Supply Chain serves over 150 leading brands, providing pan-India logistics support and maintaining a global partner network.

6. Delhivery: Leading Logistics Brand with Nationwide Coverage

Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (6)

With a nationwide network covering over 18,400 pin codes, Delhivery provides a comprehensive suite of logistics services including express parcel transportation, PTL freight, TL freight, cross-border, supply chain, and technology services. The company has successfully fulfilled over 1.7 billion shipments since its inception and works with over 28,000 customers, including large and small e-commerce participants, SMEs, and other enterprises. Delhivery recorded a 20 percent year-on-year growth in operating revenue to Rs 2,194 crore during Q3 FY24, while total expenses rose only 7 percent to Rs 2,290 crore. Globally, over 242 companies have adopted Delhivery as a shipping and fulfillment tool in 2024.

Data PointDetails
Founded2011
HeadquartersGurgaon, Haryana, India
Services Offered
  • Express Parcel Delivery
  • Heavy Goods Delivery
  • Partial-Truckload (PTL) Freight
  • Full-Truckload (FTL) Freight
  • Cross-border Express
  • Reverse Logistics
Key Milestones
  • 2011: Founded by Sahil Barua, Mohit Tandon, Bhavesh Manglani, Suraj Saharan, and Kapil Bharati
  • 2019: Received ET Startup of the Year Award
  • 2021: Acquired Spoton Logistics Pvt. Ltd. for $200M
  • 2024: Raised $1.4 billion from investors including SoftBank, Nexus Venture Partners, and others
Market PresenceDelhivery operates over 85 fulfillment centers, 29 automated sort centers, 160 hubs, and 7,500+ partner centers, with a direct presence in 21 countries. The company delivers 1.5 million packages daily across India and internationally.

7. Ekart Logistics: India’s Largest Supply Chain Company

Founded in 2009, Ekart Logistics is India's largest supply chain company, known for its consistent excellence in consumer experience, reliable delivery, and managing variability at scale. Ekart is the preferred partner for various businesses across India. The brand covers 14,000 pin codes, offering same-day or next-day delivery for short distances, and guaranteed delivery within 48-96 hours for longer distances.

Data PointDetails
Founded2009
HeadquartersBangalore, Karnataka, India
Services Offered
  • B2C (Business to Consumer) Deliveries
  • B2B (Business to Business) Deliveries
  • Warehousing
  • E-commerce Logistics
  • End-to-End Supply Chain Solutions
Key Milestones
  • 2009: Founded as Flipkart’s in-house supply chain arm
  • 2015: Reintegrated into Flipkart after initially being a separate entity
  • 2018: Received a significant investment of ₹1,632 crore from Klick2Shop
Market PresenceEkart Logistics operates across 3,800+ PIN codes in India, delivering around 10 million shipments a month.

8. Ecom Express: Leading E-commerce Logistics Provider

Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (7)

Founded in 2012, Ecom Express is a prominent player in the e-commerce logistics sector in India. The company offers comprehensive logistics solutions, including express parcel delivery, ground services, warehousing, fulfillment services, reverse logistics, and cross-border services. Ecom Express operates in over 2,650 towns, covering more than 27,000 PIN codes across India, ensuring extensive reach and reliable delivery. In FY23, the company achieved significant growth, reflecting its strong market position and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Data PointDetails
Founded2012
HeadquartersGurugram, Haryana, India
Services Offered
  • Express Parcel Delivery
  • Reverse Logistics
  • E-commerce Logistics Solutions
  • Cross-Border Services
Key Milestones
  • 2012: Founded by T.A. Krishnan, Sanjeev Saxena, Manju Dhawan, and Kotla Satyanarayana
  • 2017: Received multiple awards including Best E-commerce Logistics Partner
  • 2020: Achieved revenue of ₹12.5 billion
  • 2022: Raised $39 million in a venture round from Partners Group
Market PresenceEcom Express operates in over 2,650 towns across 27,000+ PIN codes in India, covering more than 95% of India’s population.

9. Shadowfax: Hyperlocal Logistics Leader

Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (8)

Founded in 2015, Shadowfax is a leading hyperlocal logistics provider in India, specializing in quick commerce, e-commerce logistics, and reverse logistics. The company operates in over 2,500 cities, managing a network of 30 lakh verified riders and delivering over 15 lakh orders daily across 15,000+ PIN codes. Shadowfax’s innovative technology and efficient delivery model make it a preferred partner for businesses looking to enhance their logistics operations.

Data PointDetails
Founded2015
HeadquartersBengaluru, Karnataka, India
Services Offered
  • Hyperlocal Delivery
  • E-commerce Logistics
  • D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) Delivery
  • Personal Courier Services
Key Milestones
  • 2015: Founded by Abhishek Bansal and Vaibhav Khandelwal
  • 2020: Rolled out an ESOP buyback plan worth $5 million
  • 2024: Raised $100 million in Series E funding round led by TPG NewQuest, valuing the company at $600 million
Market PresenceOperates in over 2,500 cities across India, managing a network of 30 lakh verified riders and delivering over 15 lakh orders daily across 15,000+ PIN codes.

10. Pidge: Unified Logistics Platform for SMEs

Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (9)

Founded in 2019, Pidge empowers small and medium businesses with a unified logistics platform. Pidge’s innovative approach allows businesses to choose their delivery partners, facilitating deeper supply penetration. With a network of over 200 regional and national partners, Pidge supports brands like Blue Tokai and Dana Choga. The company has raised $6.86 million in funding, including a $3 million seed round in March 2023. Pidge aims to create interoperable hybrid micro-networks where businesses can select delivery partners, democratizing access to logistics.

Data PointDetails
Founded2019
HeadquartersGurugram, Haryana, India
Services Offered
  • On-demand Local Deliveries
  • Courier Services
  • B2B Logistics Solutions
  • Real-time Order Clubbing
Key Milestones
  • 2019: Founded by Ratnesh Verma and Rushil Mohan
  • 2021: Raised $1 million in funding from Indian Angel Network
  • 2023: Raised $3 million in a pre-Series A round led by Mountain Partners
  • 2024: Expanded to cover over 400,000 network users and enabled over 5 million deliveries
Market PresencePidge operates across five cities in the Delhi-NCR region: Delhi, Noida, Faridabad, Gurgaon, and Ghaziabad. The company focuses on radius-free deliveries, leveraging technology for real-time tracking, dynamic batching, and ensuring minimal lead times.

Detailed Considerations When Choosing a Logistics Company in India

1. Shipping Cost
Evaluate the shipping rates of different logistics companies to ensure they align with your budget while meeting your service requirements. Hidden fees can often surprise businesses, so it's important to understand the complete cost structure. Assess whether the logistics provider offers discounts for bulk shipments, long-term contracts, or frequent usage. Comparing base rates, surcharges, and potential discounts helps in selecting a cost-effective partner.

2. Greater Pin Code Coverage
Opt for a logistics company that offers extensive pin code coverage to ensure your packages reach even the most remote areas. This is especially vital for e-commerce businesses aiming to serve a wide customer base across the country. Comprehensive coverage reduces the risk of delivery failures and enhances customer satisfaction by ensuring reliable service in urban and rural regions alike.

3. Order Tracking Facility
Ensure the logistics provider offers robust order tracking facilities. Real-time tracking allows both businesses and customers to monitor shipment statuses, improving transparency and trust. Features like SMS updates, mobile app tracking, and web-based tracking systems can significantly enhance the customer experience by providing timely information about their deliveries.

4. Delivery Speed
Assess the delivery times guaranteed by the logistics company. Faster delivery speeds can enhance customer satisfaction and boost repeat business. Evaluate whether the company offers express delivery options for urgent shipments and how they manage peak periods to maintain consistent delivery times. Reliable and swift deliveries are crucial for maintaining a competitive edge in the market.

5. RTO (Return to Origin) Percentage
Check the logistics provider's RTO percentage, which indicates how often packages are returned to the sender due to delivery failures. A lower RTO percentage reflects a higher success rate in deliveries and fewer complications. Understanding the reasons behind RTOs, such as incorrect addresses or customer unavailability, can help in selecting a provider that minimizes these issues.

6. Efficient Returns Management
Efficient returns management is crucial for customer satisfaction, especially in e-commerce. Choose a logistics company that provides hassle-free return solutions and quick processing of returned goods. A well-managed returns process enhances customer trust and encourages repeat business. Look for features like easy return labels, automated processing, and transparent refund policies.

7. Secured Delivery
Ensure the logistics provider guarantees secure delivery of packages. This includes measures to prevent theft, damage, and loss of goods. Security protocols such as tamper-proof packaging, real-time tracking, and insured shipments build customer confidence and protect your business from potential losses. Reliable security measures are essential for maintaining a good reputation.

8. Track Record
Research the logistics company's track record in terms of reliability and customer satisfaction. Look for reviews, testimonials, and case studies to gauge their performance and reputation in the industry. A company with a proven track record of timely deliveries, good customer service, and positive feedback is more likely to meet your business needs effectively.

Final Words

India's logistics industry is transforming rapidly, driven by technology and strategic partnerships. Leading logistics brands are crucial in this evolution, aiming for a $320 billion market by 2025. With logistics costs currently at 13-14% of GDP, these companies are set to enhance efficiency and reliability, driving economic growth.

For more insights on the logistics industry and its impact, read the following articles:

  • Global Logistics Finance Market Booming: Here's Why
  • Meesho Ventures into Logistics Sector with Valmo, Currently Serving 6000+ Pincodes
  • Understanding Retail Supply Chain Management

FAQs on Top Logistics Brands in India

1. Who is the market leader in logistics in India?

Allcargo Logistics Ltd. is a significant player in the Indian logistics market, offering extensive logistics and supply chain solutions, and is part of the Allcargo Group which also includes Gati Ltd​ .

2. Who is the largest logistics company?

Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR) is one of the largest logistics companies in India, particularly known for its market leadership in container transportation and handling​ ​.

3. Who leads the logistics industry?

Allcargo Logistics Ltd., Blue Dart Express Ltd., and Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR) are among the leading logistics companies in India​​​ ​.

4. What is the rank of India in logistics?

India is ranked 44th in the World Bank's Logistics Performance Index ​.

Direct-to-Customer vs. Traditional Retail: Which Model is Right for You? - Indian Retailer (2024)
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