Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 65663
Challenges and Opportunities in Computing Logistics Cost in E-Commerce Supply Chain

Authors: Pramod Ghadge, Swadesh Srivastava

Abstract:

Revenue generation of a logistics company depends on how the logistics cost of a shipment is calculated. Logistics cost of a shipment is a function of distance & speed of the shipment travel in a particular network, its volumetric size and dead weight. Logistics billing is based mainly on the consumption of the scarce resource (space or weight carrying capacity of a carrier). Shipment’s size or deadweight is a function of product and packaging weight, dimensions and flexibility. Hence, to arrive at a standard methodology to compute accurate cost to bill the customer, the interplay among above mentioned physical attributes along with their measurement plays a key role. This becomes even more complex for an ecommerce company, like Flipkart, which caters to shipments from both warehouse and marketplace in an unorganized non-standard market like India. In this paper, we will explore various methodologies to define a standard way of billing the non-standard shipments across a wide range of size, shape and deadweight. Those will be, usage of historical volumetric/dead weight data to arrive at a factor which can be used to compute the logistics cost of a shipment, also calculating the real/contour volume of a shipment to address the problem of irregular shipment shapes which cannot be solved by conventional bounding box volume measurements. We will also discuss certain key business practices and operational quality considerations needed to bring standardization and drive appropriate ownership in the ecosystem.

Keywords: contour volume, logistics, real volume, volumetric weight

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