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Pandemic restricts deliveries, courier services left in the lurch

Though courier services have been exempted from lockdown regulations, many operators say they are unable to make profits owing to the pandemic.

Published: 08th June 2021 06:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2021 08:54 AM   |  A+A-

courier

For representational purposes

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though courier services have been exempted from lockdown regulations, many operators say they are unable to make profits owing to the pandemic. They claim they are facing difficulties in reaching customers living in containment zones. With many government institutions and corporate offices closed due to the lockdown, the courier service providers doesn’t see many customers.

“We are not functioning at full capacity, because the operational expense is quite high. However, there is no change in the distance covered by our delivery executives daily,” said Anilkumar P of The Professional Couriers in Pattom.The courier service provider also alleged that many of their  employees coming from remote areas in the district are being stopped bypolice officials. 

Sometimes, the customers in quarantine fail to inform delivery persons about their situation, which forces the delivery person to undergo a seven-day quarantine period. “We charge only Rs 50 for a document courier within the state, while other courier service providers charge around `200. Still, we used to make a good profit because we always had a decent number of customers. However, the business is in dire straits now,” said Anilkumar.

Delayed services 
Even after suffering losses, many courier operators have opened their offices in the city for both deliveries and bookings. A major issue for most of them remains the lack of connectivity and lockdown restrictions. Praveen Vijayan of DTDC says, “It used to take only a day to deliver a courier from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi. Now, it takes almost  two days.

Due to the lockdown restrictions, we have to restrict delivery hours between 10am and 2pm. As train and air services are still not functioning like they used to, we are facing logistic issues as well,” says Praveen. Meanwhile, many customers are also frustrated that their e-commerce deliveries are not coming through as expected, or are being delayed indefinitely. 

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