An Indian start-up laggagedeals.com, has come up with an online aggregation platform that optimizes luggage storage space with intercity private buses by utilizing it for discounted courier service, providing extra revenue to operators while offering a cost-effective option for transporting packages.
There are lot of intercity private bus service providers across the country that have been carrying consignments informally. Prashanth Shah, founder of laggagedeals.com said that his company is trying to turn this informal practice into a more organized channel of practice.
The service was founded a year ago and is mainly used by those who prefer same-day delivery. It can also depute someone at the receiving end to collect it from the bus service provider’s office, said Shah. The company is still on a lookout for traders and small and mid sized firms, along with the general public, he said, adding, “Of course, low courier cost is the fundamental deciding factor.”
For example, it costs Rs.600 to courier ship a 10 kg parcel from Ahmedabad to Mumbai while shipping the same via private bus costs half of this amount.
The company is able to keep the rates low mainly due to absence of fixed operating cost for travel bus operators, unlike the case with courier operators, who have to maintain courier delivery fleets. A luxury bus has luggage storage capacity of 500kg on average while hardly one-fourth of this space is used by the luggage of the passengers.
Unlike conventional courier services, laggagedeals.com provides courier services only from city to city, and both the consignor and the consignee have to drop and collect the packages on their own.
“If storage space of each bus is utilised to optimal level, then running routing bus service will not only become much more profitable but to a great extend reduce the risk of running it at loss in case of partially empty seats,” said Raju Thakkar, promoter of Neeta Travels, one of the leading intercity bus operators in Gujarat, which has an extensive network in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Such bus operators are usually unable to cancel their routine intercity bus services even if the number of passengers is considerably less. Laggagedeals.com generates revenue through service charges or percentage of commission per courier order. IT handles 150-200 orders per day on average while the number increases to 400-500 orders a day during the festive season.
The company has 15 bus operators as its clients and provides services from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai, where it has appointed one person each to ensure smooth functioning. It expects to cover other cities by connecting them to Mumbai and then enter Rajasthan and other part of India.