New local lockdown regulations cause logistical issues for e-commerce businesses
As local authorities continue to tweak lockdown regulations in an attempt to manage the continued spread of Covid-19, e-commerce businesses are struggling to keep up.
On May 12, the Maharashtra government introduced new a regulation that drivers delivering e-commerce goods and related workers must carry a negative RT-PCR certificate which is less than 48-hours old with them while they are working. The regulations now also state that cargo carriers cannot have more than two people and these rules will come into effect from May 15.
A number of businesses have criticised this move stating that they have delivery personnel already travelling to Maharashtra from the south of the country and these drivers, unaware of the upcoming regulations, do not have Covid-19 test papers with them, ET Tech reported. Businesses have also complained that, due to the high demand for RT-PCR tests, it will not be possible to have tests done in a timely fashion.
As the state of Maharashtra is a delivery hub for the west of India, disruptions to deliveries there could affect the supply chain in numerous states. This would also affect the distribution of medical goods, including oxygen, as such drivers are not exempt from the new regulations.
E-commerce businesses operating in Karnataka, Assam, and Tamil Nadu are also calling for a relaxation of regulations in these states. Assam currently does allow the delivery of essential goods ordered online, but retailers have criticised its odd-even number plate traffic rule for private vehicles.
Retailers in Tamil Nadu are asking for the state government to increase the product categories allowed for delivery and those in Karnataka are asking for longer business hours to avoid crowding.
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