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Medicines and food items were the most sold products across India in April, with Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru topping the chart in terms of pickup and delivery, according to the State of logistics in lockdown report by Shiprocket, a tech-enabled logistics startup.

The government had permitted the shipment of essential goods during the nationwide lockdown. Shiprocket said medicines accounted for 80% and groceries contributed 16% to overall shipments during the month.

The survey, which involved 1,931 sellers, revealed that Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, were followed by Hyderabad and Gurugram in terms of maximum pickups and deliveries. The report noted that 11% of the shipments comprising non-essential items were stuck in transit at hubs.

The findings highlight how the supply chain was disrupted despite a rise in demand for e-commerce deliveries during the lockdown and order fulfilment remained an industry-wide challenge. Delivery of non-essential products also suffered because many consumers cancelled their orders because of the coronavirus threat, further impacting demand, said Saahil Goel, chief executive officer and co-founder of Shiprocket.

The logistics sector has played a key role in ensuring minimal disruption of supply chains for businesses offering essential goods, since the lockdown began on 25 March, but pharmacies were badly hit.

“The business has seen a 30% hit because of the early lockdown," said Puru Dhawan, a Delhi-based pharmacy owner. Another pharmacy owner, requesting anonymity, said 70% of his business was impacted by the lockdown, as his team was not able to schedule pickups.

“Now that the government has given the green light for the delivery of non-essential goods in several areas, we are looking forward to businesses picking up pace and resuming their growth trajectories, to provide a fillip to the logistics space," said Goel.

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