In­dia has the ap­pro­pri­ate acu­men for lo­gis­tics

Lo­gis­tics in­dus­try in In­dia is evolv­ing rapidly, de­spite weak eco­nomic sen­ti­ments, the sec­tor con­tin­ues to wit­ness growth, says Su­mit Sharma, Co-founder, GoBOLT.

Cargo Talk - - Guest Column -

The global lo­gis­tics sec­tor was ex­pected to grow 10-15 per cent in the pe­riod 2013-14. Lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is ex­pected to reach over USD 2 bil­lion by 2019. Rise of e-com­merce lo­gis­tics and in­creased do­mes­tic con­sump­tion will lead the way for the in­dus­try in the com­ing years. With a prom­ise of growth and im­prove­ments, the ser­vice ori­ented lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is ready to ex­pand be­yond the hori­zons in the lat­ter half of this decade. Chal­lenges faced in In­dia

The most es­sen­tial chal­lenge faced by the in­dus­try to­day is in­suf­fi­cient in­te­gra­tion of trans­port net­works, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and ware­hous­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion fa­cil­i­ties. Reg­u­la­tions ex­ist at a num­ber of dif­fer­ent tiers, is im­posed by na­tional, re­gional and local author­i­ties. How­ever, the reg­u­la­tions dif­fer from city to city, hin­der­ing the cre­ation of na­tional net­works.

Trained man­power is es­sen­tial both for the third party lo­gis­tics sec­tor as well as the man­u­fac­tur­ing and re­tail­ing sec­tors, which is very weak at a prac­ti­cal level, i.e., IT, driv­ing and ware­house as well as at a higher strate­gic level. The dis­or­gan­ised na­ture of the lo­gis­tics sec­tor in In­dia, its per­cep­tion as a man­pow­er­heavy in­dus­try and lack of ad­e­quate train­ing in­sti­tu­tions has led to a short­fall in skilled man­age­ment and client ser­vice per­son­nel. There is a lack of IT stan­dard, equip­ment and poor sys­tems in­te­gra­tion. Poor fa­cil­i­ties and man­age­ment are the rea­son for high lev­els of loss, dam­age and de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of stock, mainly in the per­ish­ables sec­tor. It is es­sen­tial to pri­ori­tise re­search and de­vel­op­ment so that the weaknesses in the in­dus­try can be taken care of and im­proved. Panacea

In­fra­struc­ture is the back­bone of ev­ery coun­try’s growth and pros­per­ity and for the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try to flour­ish spe­cial em­pha­sis has to be on build­ing world-class road net­works, in­te­grated rail cor­ri­dors, mod­ern cargo fa­cil­i­ties at air­ports and cre­ation of lo­gis­tics parks which need to be given a sta­tus equiv­a­lent to Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones.

Good stor­age and Ware­hous­ing fa­cil­i­ties are im­por­tant for the growth of the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try.With the in­crease in the trans­porta­tion of per­ish­able prod­ucts, the lo­gis­tics agen­cies needs to give a lot of im­por­tance to en­hanc­ing the Ware­hous­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

Ware­hous­ing is re­quired to go to the next level tak­ing into ac­count the chang­ing dy­nam­ics of JIT man­u­fac­tur­ing, global pro­cure­ment and new mod­els of sales and dis­tri­bu­tion. Em­pha­sis on re­search and de­vel­op­ment is po­tent. Fu­ture prospects

The lo­gis­tics firms are mov­ing from a tra­di­tional setup to the in­te­gra­tion of IT and tech­nol­ogy to their op­er­a­tions to re­duce the costs in­curred as well as to meet the ser­vice de­mands. To sup­port In­dia’s fast paced econ­omy growth of lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is very es­sen­tial. It is es­ti­mated that the In­dian lo­gis­tics in­dus­try will con­tinue to show ro­bust growth of 10-15 per cent annually, lead­ing the pace of growth of the econ­omy at large.

With a new gov­ern­ment many poli­cies are ex­pected to be implemented which will give a fresh im­pe­tus to In­dia’s growth en­gine par­tic­u­larly in the cor­po­rate and SME sec­tor which in turn will ex­pand de­mand for the lo­gis­tics sec­tor. (The views ex­pressed are solely of the author. The pub­li­ca­tion may or may not sub­scribe to the same.)

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