Inside Indian Ecommerce sector's favourite logistics hub: Bhiwandi


The road from Mumbai to Nashik cuts through swathes of green pastures. About 30 km into the journey comes the city of Bhiwandi, and then the scenery begins to change. On the right side of the road, the greenery gets punctuated by buildings spread across the landscape wearing the unmistakable look of warehouses — large premises, conical tin sheds and doorways big enough to accommodate heavy commercial vehicles.

On the left side of the road are more warehouses. Only, these are taller, younger-looking buildings stacked against each other in a queue that goes on for several kilometres. In place of decrepit tin sheds, these have steel claddings often seen on industrial buildings internationally. Pucca roads replace the pastures on this side of the city.

These newfangled warehouses have come up in Bhiwandi — known for its century-old power looms industry which still exists in the interiors of the city — only in the last five years or so. Here, online retail companies such as Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa, Pepperfry, Grofers and Bigbasket, among others, store their goods in what the industry calls fulfilment centres or FCs. When a customer places an order on one of these online platforms, the item ordered is packed in these FCs, sorted according to the delivery location and dispatched in a delivery vehicle for its final destination. Third-party logistics companies (called 3PLs) such as DHL, Blue DartNSE -2.39 %, DTDC, Safexpress — the entities that deliver these goods to the customers’ doorsteps — also have their own FCs here. Like a local train on a busy Mumbai station, a delivery truck enters and exits these centres every 30 seconds.



这些新奇的仓库出现在比万迪,是发生在最近5年内的事。亚马逊、Flipkart、Nykaa、Pepperfry、Grofers和Bigbasket等在线零售公司将商品存储在这里的物流中心。当客户在这些在线平台上下订单时,订购的物品就会在此根据送货地点进行分类,然后用送货车辆运送到最终目的地。第三方物流公司,如DHL, Blue DartNSE -2.39 %, DTDC, Safexpress -这些企业把商品送到客户的门口。跟孟买繁忙车站上的列车一样,每30秒就有一辆货车进出这些中心。

Online retailers and 3PLs take warehouses like these on lease to avoid large investments required to establish one. In fact, most ecommerce companies tend to lease all logistics services to keep the cost low while delivering efficiently across the country. According to a recent KPMG report, 51% of all ecommerce deliveries were executed by external logistics service providers (LSPs). India’s e-commerce retail logistics market, it said, was valued at $1.35 billion in 2018 and was projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 36% in the next five years.

At the heart of this growth lies Bhiwandi, the logistics haven from where ecommerce companies manage deliveries for the entire western region — roughly 30-35% of all online retail sales across players and categories.

Though there are similar warehousing clusters in Gurgaon, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, it is Bhiwandi, northeast of Mumbai, that is becoming the flag-bearer of the booming logistics business. Why? Because the city has evolved into a first-of-its-kind ecommerce logistics hub in India. Here, a broker is readily available to facilitate an ecommerce player’s logistics needs at every step — from their warehouse to the customer’s house. These include land-leasing services; management of warehouses; manpower supply for packing, sorting, loading and unloading of goods, trucks and truck drivers to ferry those goods; security and catering staff, among other things. Hundreds of them help ecommerce companies serve customers in states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. To put it succinctly, Bhiwandi is like a supermarket for ecommerce players.





The business has grown at warp speed for key stakeholders in this gig — builders, property dealers, staffing companies and the local workforce, among others. The increasing demand for more warehousing space has led to a 150% jump in land prices in the last 10 years. According to a recent Knight Frank’s India Warehousing Market Report, in 2017, the warehousing transaction volumes in Bhiwandi recorded a 230% yearon-year growth over 2016.

Around 5 million sq ft of warehousing space has so far been absorbed into building warehousing parks in 2019 alone, says Jasmine Singh, country head of industrial & logistics services at CBRE, a commercial real estate services company.

However, Bhiwandi has its own set of challenges. During monsoon, the city makes headlines for fatalities due to infrastructure failure. Instances of illegal acquisition of agricultural land to build warehouses are not uncommon either. But there are at least a couple of good reasons that have put Bhiwandi a notch above other suitable locations, say stakeholders.

The rentals here are cheaper than many industrial hubs in the country — Rs 11-20 per sq ft a month against Rs 14-22 for the Ghaziabad cluster and Rs 14-24 in Chennai. In the unorganised sector, word is that you can get a rate as low as Rs 9 per sq ft a month in Bhiwandi. “It is because of such competitive rates that most ecommerce companies have their largest warehousing hub in this area,” says Dhiren Shah, 43, a Mumbai-based realty broker.

In 2012, companies like Pepperfry started setting up bigger FCs in the city. Since 2014, Amazon has set up seven such centres in Bhiwandi — the highest number across its major warehousing hubs in India. Location is another factor as Bhiwandi is not too far from Mumbai and is well connected to the thoroughfares in the region. Another important factor — perhaps the clincher — is labour.






Ashish Shah, founder & COO of Pepperfry explains why ecommerce companies prefer Bhiwandi even though labour costs are higher here. "Even the infrastructure is much better in cities like Bengaluru. However, the high work ethic, a no-nonsense attitude, and the credibility of the Bhiwandi workforce make it our No. 1 warehousing location," he says.

"During peak season, poaching of labour between Amazon and Flipkart happens quite often. But you don't hear cases of data theft and such. People in Bhiwandi have a reputation to maintain," says Sumit Patil, 34, director at Trident Human Resource Management, a staffing company that manages labour and logistics duties for clients like Flipkart, Bigbasket and Nykaa, among others.

The ecommerce space in the city gives a means of livelihood to close to 3.5 lakh people from the area and nearby towns.

Realty dealer Dhiren owns one-fourth of a 12,000 sq ft warehousing space with three other property dealers in the area. "There are no walls within the building so we can easily make room for bigger clients. But if required, we can separate the space using makeshift partitions." This flexibility has helped Bhiwandi fare better than other logistics hubs.


“在旺季,亚马逊和Flipkart之间的挖人事件经常发生。但你不会听到数据盗窃之类的案件。三叉腿人力资源管理公司的董事、34岁的Sumit Patil表示。该公司为Flipkart、Bigbasket和Nykaa等客户管理劳动力和后勤工作。



Bhiwandi also scores high on Amazon's charts for its people's entrepreneurial instincts, an Amazon spokesperson tells ET Magazine. "We do a lot of community engagement programmes in areas like education, health, sanitation and women empowerment across 15 warehousing centres in India. Some of the beneficiaries of these initiatives from Bhiwandi saw an opportunity in using their training to provide ancillary services at our FCs. This helped them earn a livelihood and become financially independent," the spokesperson adds.

Ganga Sonavale, popularly known as "Ganga tai", is one such beneficiary. Seeing her penchant for business during a self-help group training, Amazon's CSR unit asked if she would like to run a canteen at its FCs in the city. "I seized the opportunity with both hands," says the 35-year-old resident of Vahuli village in Bhiwandi. She started with serving 20 meals four months ago. Today, she serves close to 500 meals across four Amazon FCs in the region, earning over Rs 7,000 a month.

While the power looms largely employ skilled labour, the ecommerce gig has given avenues to unskilled labour, says Jai Bhagwan's Thakker. It has changed the lives of people like Sonavale. "Before the catering business, I was just a housewife. My role as a housewife is very important, but it doesn't give any financial returns and respect in society. Now I am considered a financially independent woman in my village. Younger women come to me for advice." She now wants more women to join her business so that she can expand further.


Ganga Sonavale就是这样一个受益者。在一次自助小组培训中,看到她对商业的兴趣,亚马逊的CSR部门问她是否愿意在该市的FCs经营一家餐厅。“我抓住了这个机会,”这位住在比万迪瓦胡里村的35岁居民说。4个月前,她开始提供20份餐。如今,她在该地区的四家亚马逊门店提供近500份餐,每月收入超过7000卢比。



译文来源:三泰虎     http://www.santaihu.com/48847.html      译者:Joyceliu


Shri Mahesh

Let us supply rice and dal at 3 rupees per kilo each to all religious places and feed 1000 people for 2000 rupees or 20 dollars per meal. For hundred dollars or 7000 rupees, we can feed 3 meals a day to 1000 people. We can cook at these cloud kitchens or religious places and supply neighboring schools and populations. This way, we can efficiently cook for thousands or millions of people and use our resources efficiently. Let us use Government Funds to set up cloud kitchens at all Temples and religious places. Lets install smart modern toilets. We can fix a lot of problems with nutrition and healthcare under this scheme. This is even better than food or gas subsidies. Lets start now.



Kunal Jakhotia

Hi, It''s my humble suggestion, that the articles like this should take Data points from a valid sources.Rentals mentioned in this article is very misleading.Difference 1;The rentals on carpet/Built-up differ.Difference 2;The rental numbers mentioned are not the prevailing ones(not even the range)Hence, a legit source like any other IPCs in the region should be a source of data. No disrespect meant to anyone mentioned in the article or to the writer.Infact, I really appreciate your thought of shedding light on a huge booming economy which not many know about.




nice article



Kishore Shivani




Topical Lovers

Absolutely right Bhivandi is nearby Mumbai''s touch as well as Nasik Rd. I have land in Bhivandi Gorsai approx 2.5 acres and other 15 members have 2.5 acars Means 20 to 25 acars land is available. I am interested to find any opportunities to visit in my spots location and always welcome to establish for warehouses.



Rohit Shinde

everything is in Maharashtra. other states should learn.



Baji Jedhe

7000 rs per month. amazon back at squeezing locals



Sunilkumar Tejwani

fully agree with Mr . Shetye. Bhiwandi was already a warehouse location for storage of goods for majority of merchants from Mumbai as well as other peripheral town due to additional burden of Octroi . After abolishing Octroi ( post GST re gie ) Bhiwandi still had the attraction of storage of large scale at an affordable cost , compared to the whooping property cost in Mumbai .because of its strategic location , dedicated work force and transport facilities as well as affordable storage facilities ( large warehouses available on rental / lease or even ownership basis at a much cheaper rate ) has made Bhiwandi the best choice for logistics .

完全同意Mr. Shetye的说法。由于商品入市税的额外负担,比万迪已经是孟买和其他周边城镇大多数商人的货物仓库。取消货物入市税后,比万迪仍然有吸引力,有着大规模存储和合理可担的价格,比孟买被哄抬的房产价格要合理得多。因为其战略位置,有工作道德的劳动力和交通设施以及负担得起的储存设施(大仓库租赁/租赁甚至购买价格都更为便宜)使得比万迪成为物流行业的最佳选择。


Prashant Nayakanti

A good opportunity for fintech lenders to disburse micro loans to Bhiwandi residents



Ravindra Shetye

The beginning of Bhivandi as store house started initially because it was outside Octroi limit of Mumba. So the materials can be stored at Bhivandi and only the materials delivered in Mumbai will be required to pay Octroi.off course the other aspects like closeness to Mumbai port, Pune, Nashik and interior Maharashtra and Gujarat, availability of labour, transportation facilities helped.




These hubs generate employment for the people of Bhiwandi but at the cost many other jobs. These hubs are a financially viable option for the companies and they save some bucks sourcing the goods from here. Once they get a better deal elsewhere they''ll move without a thought.



Rewarding India

there must be more hubs in the country




Bhiwandi is the right location for ecommerce giants.



Srinivas Kandregula

good think


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