The recent heavy rain in urban areas, including Delhi and the National Capital Region, has severely disrupted online deliveries, causing inconvenience to consumers who have come to rely on these services for daily essentials, food, and medicine, particularly during the pandemic. The drainage system was overwhelmed, leading to waist-high flooding on roads and rendering large clusters unserviceable. As a result, popular delivery services such as Swiggy, Zomato, Zepto, Blinkit, and Milk Basket stopped taking orders, while other platforms experienced significant delays.
Zomato, which also owns Blinkit, acknowledged the impact of the rain on their operations and expressed hope to resume services soon. The heavy monsoon rains in northern India have caused fatalities, landslides, property damage, and displacement of people. The intensified rainfall is attributed to the combination of monsoon winds and a western disturbance, according to the India Meteorological Department. Himachal Pradesh has been the hardest hit, with approximately 20 reported deaths.
Restaurants have been severely affected, with few customers venturing out in the heavy rain. Anjan Chatterjee, chairman of Speciality Restaurants, stated that deliveries have come to a standstill in rain-affected cities, negatively impacting logistics. Dine-in services have also been affected as people are unable to leave their homes. It is hoped that this situation will be short-term and normalcy will be restored soon.
Responding to customer complaints about delays and rain surcharges, Swiggy explained on social media that the additional fee is intended to increase the number of delivery personnel on the streets during rain. The disruptions caused by rain highlight the challenges faced by quick-commerce platforms like Instamart, Blinkit, Zepto, and BBnow, which have been growing rapidly compared to traditional e-commerce platforms. These platforms primarily cater to the delivery of daily essentials and grocery products.
Companies in the industry have taken measures to support their delivery riders during extreme weather conditions. They provide basic aids such as raincoats and emergency medical support. Despite these efforts, heavy rainfall and waterlogging continue to affect delivery timelines and route efficiency. Safety remains the top priority during such weather events.
Industry experts estimate the size of the e-commerce grocery market to be around Rs 3,000 crore and growing. Swiggy Instamart handles nearly 450,000 daily orders, Zepto serves around 300,000 orders, and Blinkit delivered 31.6 million orders in the previous quarter, according to Zomato’s update.
The India Meteorological Department has forecasted heavy rain for the upcoming week, citing western disturbances and high-speed winds. In response, Punjab has ordered the closure of all schools until 13 July, and the Chandigarh administration has advised public and private offices to consider temporary shutdowns.