Skill and Tech­nol­ogy: The key fac­tors

Cargo Talk - - Editorial - San­Jeet Edi­tor

The cargo and lo­gis­tics sec­tor in In­dia para­dox­i­cally is plagued by a huge short­age of skilled man­power and low use of tech­nol­ogy. This is de­spite the fact that In­dia has po­ten­tial of be­ing a man­u­fac­tur­ing as well a lo­gis­tics hub. And, it has am­ple man­power and is worl­drenowned for its IT so­lu­tions. Where is the stale­mate, then? It is the ab­so­lute ap­a­thy of the pol­icy-mak­ers. When the seg­ment is treated as no­body’s child, the prob­lem of un­der-in­vest­ment in the same is ob­vi­ous. Hence, de­vel­op­ing skilled man­power and util­i­sa­tion of proper tech­nolo­gies are ap­par­ently luxuries for ma­jor­ity of the cargo and lo­gis­tics prac­ti­tion­ers, who are mainly small and mid­dle sized play­ers. Above all, a firm pol­icy from the govern­ment per­tain­ing to fast cargo clear­ing mech­a­nism and stan­dard­i­s­a­tion of pro­cesses by a cen­tralised sys­tem would be the most es­sen­tial task to re­alise its po­ten­tial. The in­dus­try be­lieves that, first of all, the govern­ment of In­dia needs to ac­cord an in­dus­try sta­tus to the lo­gis­tics seg­ment. It pro­poses that a com­mit­tee should be set up to study the stan­dard­i­s­a­tion of process across the lo­gis­tics ser­vice providers. A stan­dard­i­s­a­tion of ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing for cargo and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is an­other key area re­quir­ing the at­ten­tion of pol­icy mak­ers. The need for ad­e­quate train­ing is felt through the in­dus­try. There should be a gov­ern­ing body that fo­cusses on train­ing and skills-build­ing as­pect. An­other vi­tal ini­tia­tive is the need to en­cour­age adop­tion of In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy by the SME seg­ment. For ex­am­ple- the govern­ment can in­tro­duce soft loans for SMEs for en­cour­ag­ing IT adop­tion, as this will aid in eas­ing the move­ment of cargo in the In­dian Sup­ply Chain. This is also the time to build a proper sys­tem and in­crease use of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy for man­ag­ing businesses. In­dus­try vet­er­ans be­lieve that, while In­dian man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries have done won­ders in man­u­fac­tur­ing ar­eas, they can do bet­ter in last-mile de­liv­ery. The fo­cus should be more on skilled field­work­ers, like driv­ers, im­bib­ing sim­ple and need-based tech­nolo­gies. It will help im­prove lo­gis­tics in the coun­try and save cost to the na­tional GDP, which is about 14 per cent now. Sig­nif­i­cantly, a num­ber of cargo and lo­gis­tics tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tion providers are pro­vid­ing in­no­va­tive and cost ef­fec­tive prod­ucts/ser­vices, cater­ing to this de­vel­op­ing mar­ket, where skilled and un­skilled forces, and man­ual and tech­nol­ogy-based prac­tices have to go hand-in-hand for a long time, till a stan­dard lo­gis­tics pol­icy is in place.

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