Bangladesh Post Office will deliver parcels for online marketplaces to all parts of the country from now onwards, in a development that can be viewed as a shot in the arm for the e-commerce players.
“The post office has the largest delivery platform and e-commerce entrepreneurs could use this infrastructure to reach the remotest parts of the country easily,” said Posts, Telecommunication and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar at the inauguration of e-post, Bangladesh Post Office's dedicated department for e-commerce deliveries.
Until now, the delivery channels available to the e-commerce platforms were restricted to the urban areas, meaning a large chunk of the market was cut off to them. “I hope the e-commerce sector flourishes with the help of post offices,” Jabbar said.
Bangladesh's e-commerce market is now worth more than Tk 2,000 crore a year, with annual growth of 8 to 10 percent, according to industry insiders.
The new delivery arrangement comes after the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) struck a deal with the postal division two years ago.
Since then, the e-CAB has trained a good number of delivery persons in about 100 post offices, including those in all the district headquarters, and conducted test runs in the capital last year with major e-commerce players like bagdoom, priyoshop, ajkerdeal and daraz.
Yesterday, the e-CAB handed over 100 smartphones to the post office through which it can keep track of the packages booked for delivery by the e-commerce ventures.
Bangladesh Post Office has a vast network of 8,500 post offices, according to its Director General Sushanta Kumar Mandal.
“We have modernised the services in a big way over the past few years and hope to better serve people with the launch of e-post,” he added.
The e-commerce players will use the Bangladesh Post Office for deliveries outside of the major cities. The e-commerce platforms will have to drop off the packages at the post office for delivery to the customer.
Currently, about 30,000 products bought from the online marketplaces are delivered every day.
“It will increase by at least threefold when the postal division starts full-fledged functions,” said Abdul Wahed Tomal, general secretary of the e-CAB.
Telecom Secretary Shyam Sunder Sikder and e-CAB President Shomi Kaiser were also present at the event.