Launch of Working Paper on “Assessing Viability of Using Auto Rickshaws for Urban Freight Delivery”

India’s freight activity is about to increase five-fold between 2020 and 2030. This imminent demand needs to be met cost-effectively keeping the evolving consumer behaviour and needs in mind. Consumer behaviour has changed drastically due to the increased penetration of smartphones and easy access to e-commerce platforms. Therefore, there is a need to explore and optimize new types of micro mobility-based last mile freight modes, low-emission cargo transportation (especially for smaller payloads) and new ways to optimally utilize existing vehicle stocks.

Dual utilization of three-wheeler auto rickshaws to carry cargo during idle times could help provide an additional source of income to drivers while also helping overcome supply gaps in the freight ecosystem. Keeping this idea in mind, WRI India has explored the demand and feasibility of dual utility of three-wheeler auto rickshaws in a study titled ‘Assessing Viability of Using Auto rickshaws for Urban Freight Delivery in India’. This working paper is aimed at examining the viability as well as potential impacts on driver incomes, safety, and the environment.

To launch this paper, WRI India is organizing an event that will provide a platform to stakeholders for soliciting ideas and opinions regarding critical conversations around dual use in India.

The launch will also initiate conversation with stakeholders around the following key questions:

  • Is there a critical market for transporting goods between 30 and 350 kilograms for urban hyper-local deliveries? Can the use of auto rickshaws help overcome that gap?
  • What is the potential safety, socioeconomic and environmental impacts of dual utilization of three-wheeler auto rickshaws?
  • What are the regulatory and policy measures needed to support dual utility of auto rickshaws for last mile urban freight delivery?
  • What short and long-term strategies could be developed by industry in conjunction with central and state governments to catalyze dual usage in India?

The launch will be followed by a panel discussion on ‘New Frontiers: Logistics Opportunities for Three-Wheelers – Understanding the Market and Assessing Safety Viability of Dual Use’ which aims to focus on the following areas:

  • The opportunity of dual licensing for three-wheelers while also shedding light on the safety parameters
  • Opportunities for state and central government to collaborate with industry and create an ecosystem where dual licensing is permitted and practiced
  • The support needed from the government to catalyze dual licensing in India


Mahmood Ahmed, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India *

N. Mohan, CEO, Delhi EV Cell – Transport Department, Government of Delhi

Dr. Gitakrishnan Ramadurai, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering Department, IIT Madras

Pranav Goel, CEO, Porter

Shubhra Jain, Public Policy Manager, Amazon

Dr. Reji Mathai, Director, Automotive Research Association of India *


Rohan Rao, Program Manager, WRI India

*To be confirmed

For any queries, reach out to: < >

Time: 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM IST

Location: Event Address: Juniper Hall, India Habitat Center, New Delhi

Date: Thursday, May 18, 2023