Packaging powers cargo industry
Packaging is nothing else, but protection provided to cargo. Thus, to ensure damage-free transportation of goods, there is a dire need to understand the importance of packaging in logistics industry. Shailender Anand, Partner & Managing Director – India,
How old is the Pronk Group globally, and when did you start operations in India?
Globally, we are more than 40 years old. In India, we started our operations from May 2011 in Bengaluru, December 2011 in Delhi and March 2012 in Chennai.
Our major focus in India is on ‘Industrial Packaging’ which basically consists of packing of heavy/odddimensional machinery and equipment such as aeronautical products, turbines, wind mills, boilers, cars, trucks, aircrafts, etc.
How evolved is the Indian logistics market toward industrial packaging?
Packaging is an integral part of logistics industry to ensure damagefree transportation of goods. However, we find two categories of customers in India; one who believe any money spent on upgradation of packaging is a waste. At the same time, there are people who have realised the importance of packaging and are ready to spend on it to avoid claims.
Though that segment is increasing year-on-year people down South are more receptive to the idea of good packaging as compared to North.
Packaging is not only about packing cargo and sending it to its destinations. It contains a lot of engineering effort to save cost, time, money, delays and energy.
While preparing a shipment, what are the points that must be considered for packaging?
Packaging is nothing else, but protection provided to cargo. It is not only about supplying a box and stuffing cargo in it, but also that the cargo inside the box is completely secure, and locked to ensure damage-free transit.
The form of protection should be decided by the customer, because customer knows the product better than anyone else. So first, a customer has to decide whether the product needs protection from corrosion, scratches, damages or pilferage; then accordingly, we decide the packaging solution.
The packaging solution is designed according to the need of protection of the particular equipment, its mode of transportation (air, sea, road or rail), transit time and util- isation of containers which should be cost effective also.
Which mode of transportation do you cater to the most in India? Please tell us about your industry verticals also.
We cater more to sea freight and break bulk carriers because air sector is 90 per cent corrugation, and people are not looking much for packaging solutions. Currently, we are into power and energy sectors, automobiles, pharma and aeronautics.
Skilled manpower is a necessity for packaging industry. How do you fulfil the need?
Today, it is very difficult to find skilled labour in packaging industry. I believe in a blend of freshers and experienced engineers. Thus, after sometime when these freshers gain experience, more freshers are hired, and then we have the ideal mix of trained and skilled manpower to understand technicalities.
What is the company’s USP in terms of creating value for customers?
We pack which is unpackable; any kind of odd dimensional cargo such as turbines, windmills towers, aircrafts, railway coaches, railway engines, six storeyed buildings, to name a few.
Our USP is that we give packaging solutions and not just packing material; we believe in eradicating the claims our customers get from their buyers/consignees due to bad packaging.
How has Pronk an edge over its competitors?
There are good packaging companies, but they are regionally concentrated and they are not moving out from their comfort zones. However, we are across India and we are growing with the concept of giving same quality and service across the country.
When it comes to dismantling of cargo, our engineers provide a complete manual to the organisation, where we can’t reach to the customers about how it has to be opened.
You had a vast experience in freight forwarding; what brings you to packaging?
It was the frequent statement that I heard ‘the shipment got damaged because of low standard of packaging’. Due to this, there was always a fight between the shipper and the consignee, forwarders and the airlines or the shipping lines. I saw an opportunity and hence was encouraged to join this industry.
What’s next on your to-do list?
We are working on eco-friendly packaging solutions by looking at various avenues to introduce eco-friendly bio-degradable packaging products.
Shailender Anand Partner & Managing Director – India Pronk Group