CarterX, tech logistics startup, helps flyers travel light

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Waiting at the airport baggage counter makes time seem slower. In the earlier part of this year, both domestic and international passengers arrived at Chennai airport to claim their baggage. A study by Statista found that delays in baggage collection were caused by two main factors: loading problems and transfer mishandling.

The problem will only get worse with India set to surpass China and the United States to become the third largest air passenger market in the world by 2030. This means that passengers will need luggage services.

“Airport luggage transfer assistance represents a new market in India. The market has a lot to offer, especially considering the new trends in travel post-pandemic, as well as newer airports opening across India,” states CarterX CEO Harsha Vardhan, who has over two decades of experience in hospitality, logistics, and retail.

CarterX was co-founded by Ramya Reddy. She has a 14-year history in software, construction, and investing. It is a tech-enabled luggage assistance startup that caters to Indian air travelers. It provides a range of services to passengers, including assistance at airports and pick-and drop baggage services from your doorstep to the airport.

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The service reduces passenger anxiety, whether it’s for long, tedious walks to get into/out of the airport, identification of counters and queues at check in counters or congestion at baggage belts. “We are currently a fully-digital service at all terminals of Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru and will soon be launching services at Chennai or Kolkata,” Harsha informs Economic pitch

The Bengaluru airport was established in 2017. It provided CarterX with the necessary training wheels before they went to the market in 2018.

“There are many regulations that must be followed, such as security clearances to allow services to be offered at airport premises. These processes were initiated at Bengaluru airport. The product and internal processes were then tested. He says that we needed to ensure the delivery of baggage to the airport within the given timeframes. Therefore, we tested multiple routes at different times to assess traffic conditions.”

Services

“Baggage can be quickly picked up and transported securely from the first to the last miles, with provisions for notification or tracking. You can book, move and track your luggage online. Harsha explains that the luggage is kept in secure warehouses at the airports ahead of time, which allows passengers to travel light and without stress in post-pandemic times.

CarterX can cart luggage of almost any size and shape. You can pick up and deliver your luggage from the service’s slot-based pickup and delivery 24 hours a day. Other services offered by the company include free cancellation, complimentary insurance and tamper-evident packaging.

We currently have 34 people operating out of four airports, providing a 24-hour service. We are currently a small, well-trained team of ground forces. However, our numbers will increase as we expand,” Harsha, a graduate of the University of Madras’ MBA program, says. Harsha worked for Sangeeta Mobiles before founding CarterX.

Monetisation and funding

CarterX was initially bootstrapped with an undisclosed amount to fund the initial two airports in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. In 2019, and 2021, CarterX has received undisclosed funding through Venture Catalysts and Mumbai Angels Network. The company was able to expand its services to other airports and to form synergies in India with top airlines.

CarterX serves both direct and corporate customers. CarterX employs both B2C as well as B2B2C revenue models and plans to combine them to offer even more with its single-access subscriptions that span multiple airports. Subscriptions for corporate employees will cost Rs 1,999 – Rs 3,799.

Harsha comments, “Our consumer rates start at Rs599. The prices are based upon the number of bags combined or distance-based outstation service services.” Outstation services can cost up to Rs 6,279, and the price can rise as high as Rs 6,279 So far, CarterX has delivered 200,000 orders.

CarterX products can be found on its website as well as through travel agencies and airline portals.

The future is bright

According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India is expected to be third in civil aviation by 2024. With the government planning to open more airports, the industry is expected to grow by approximately 8-10% YoY.

CarterX intends to expand its services to five additional airports by 2023 and to establish 15 airports in the next five-years.

“We aim to capture 33% of the market share in the next five year when it comes passenger baggage transport service. Some airports offer a fraction of our service, while others have fragmented providers such as porter services. Harsha mentions that international aviation service providers such as AirPortr, based in the UK, and DUBZ, based in Dubai, offer similar services.

CarterX claims it is looking for international partnerships to grow its user base and will soon launch its first international service.

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