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Logistics Horrors Bedevil India's E-Commerce Operators

October 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In India, e-commerce startups have to deal with high costs of logistics, which can go as much as 30 percent of their net sales, according to consulting firm Technopak. In contrast, Amazon.com Inc. spent 11.7 percent of net sales on delivering packages to customers in the United States. Logistics-related obstacles Indian e-commerce firms face include bad roads, unreliable trucks, monsoon floods, corruption among state-border officials, and complicated tax rules. India’s leading online retailers, including Flipkart Internet Pvt., with more than $3 billion in the bank and a market valuation of $15 billion, and Snapdeal, offer customers large discounts on products ranging from smartphones to refrigerators.
Sean Mclain et al, "Indian Startups Vie to Win E-Commerce Battle", The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2015, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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