It’s a time for tough play­ers

Cargo Talk - - Editorial - San­jeet Edi­tor

It is ev­i­dent from the facts and present mar­ket trends that cargo and lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies have to face an­other year of slug­gish growth ow­ing to fac­tors re­lated to in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic sce­nario and fi­nan­cial and po­lit­i­cal tur­moil in In­dia. With un­prece­dented de­pre­ci­a­tion of In­dian cur­rency, cost and price es­ca­la­tion and im­pend­ing Lok Sabha elec­tions, it is log­i­cal that un­cer­tainty to loom large over the over­all mar­ket sce­nario. The lat­est ex­ports fig­ure for the month of May is an in­dica­tive of the fact that the global re­cov­ery is still weak. Ex­ports dur­ing May, 2013 were val­ued at US $ 24,505.66 mil­lion which was 1.11 per cent lower in dol­lar terms than the level of May, 2012. Cu­mu­la­tive value of ex­ports for the pe­riod April-May 2013-14 was US $ 48,670.03 mil­lion reg­is­ter­ing a growth of 0.21 per cent in dol­lar terms over the same pe­riod last year. Though there are some im­prove­ments in coun­tries like USA and Ja­pan but Eu­ro­zone con­tin­ues to be a cause of con­cern. Even in some large emerg­ing economies like China, Brazil, Rus­sia and South Africa. China, which is world’s top ex­porter, has also showed a growth of 1 per cent in their ex­ports for the month of May while their im­ports were down by 0.3 per cent. Ac­cord­ing to In­dian ex­porters, slug­gish ex­ter­nal de­mand and lack of in­vest­ment are not only hit­ting them se­verely, also pulling down the na­tion’s econ­omy. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent FICCI in­dus­try sur­vey, the over­all Busi­ness Con­fi­dence In­dex de­clined for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive quar­ter. What is even more wor­ri­some is the fact that the par­tic­i­pants did not seem too op­ti­mistic about the ex­pec­ta­tions over the next two quar­ters. The par­tic­i­pants in­di­cated weak de­mand to be a wor­ry­ing fac­tor ham­per­ing the over­all busi­ness per­for­mance. Also there was a mar­ginal in­crease in the pro­por­tion of re­spon­dents cit­ing cost of credit to be a con­cern. The com­pa­nies were not too up­beat about the sales prospects and profit mar­gin per­for­mance over the next six months. As a re­sult, there would be a huge im­pact on the cargo and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try. Nev­er­the­less, go­ing is not tough for the in­no­va­tive play­ers. A large num­ber of en­trepreneurs from this sec­tor per­formed re­mark­ably bet­ter in 2012-13 and are ex­pect­ing a spurt in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year. Rea­sons: their risk tak­ing mind set for ven­tur­ing out to ex­plore new mar­kets and prod­uct range. In ad­di­tion, prompt re­sponse to mar­ket trends by adopt­ing con­tem­po­rary tech­nolo­gies made them smart and strong enough to face the tough times. It is likely the strat­egy to be con­tin­ued and fol­lowed by oth­ers in the months to come.

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