Woo­ing the world

Cargo Talk - - Cargo News -

As a coun­try, In­dia’s in­dus­tries are cer­tainly look­ing for­ward to the most hope­ful of days. And the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is no ex­cep­tion. With the In­dian Gov­ern­ment open­ing up trade with Bhutan, Nepal, and now Ja­pan, the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try has a rea­son to hope for bet­ter days ahead.

In­dian ports, long since lan­guish­ing as just boon­docks, are have a mega-makeover planned un­der the aegis of the gov­ern­ment in-charge. The Union Min­is­ter of Shipping Nitin Gad­kari, has set a dar­ing tar­get of dou­bling the In­dian port ca­pac­ity from 800 mil­lion tonnes to 1,600 mil­lion tonnes. This in­cludes new ports, up­grad­ing old ones and dredg­ing them to make way for big­ger ves­sels, in­creas­ing con­nec­tiv­ity from ports to lo­gis­tics parks/ ICDs via Rail­ways, and gen­er­ally im­prov­ing the pre-In­de­pen­dence ca­pac­ity to some­thing that re­sem­bles the 21st cen­tury.

On the other hand, be­sides im­prov­ing con­nec­tiv­ity, open­ing up chan­nels of trade is as im­por­tant a task. With the PM’s trip to Ja­pan, the gov­ern­ment is sig­nalling to the business pow­er­houses in that na­tion that we are wide open for business. Our coun­try is look­ing at col­lab­o­ra­tion in terms of lo­gis­tics, con­nec­tiv­ity, tech­nol­ogy and ware­hous­ing. With Nepal, and with Bhutan, the mes­sage was sim­i­lar. Trade is the mover of for­tunes.

In fact, the rate of open­ing up of ICDs/ware­houses (big and small) has spooled up. The PM laid the foun­da­tion stone to the JNPT’s SEZ, af­firm­ing a PPP in­vest­ment of over 4,000 crore.

The fact is, we need more invest- Ed­i­tor ments to shore up the state of our ‘ever-nascent’ lo­gis­tics and cargo in­dus­try to a re­spectable one which be­fits a coun­try of a bil­lion and more.

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