For­eign hand up­lifts In­dian lo­gis­tics?

The ar­rival and pres­ence of for­eign play­ers in the In­dian lo­gis­tics in­dus­try has been a prof­itable out­come. But, it could also be an op­por­tu­nity for the for­eign stake­hold­ers to gain max­i­mum ex­pe­ri­ence. ex­plores more.

Cargo Talk - - Front Page - KAL­PANA LOHUMI

Shan­tanu Bhad­kamkar DDP Gallery of Leg­ends 2016 & Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor ATC Global Lo­gis­tics Since lib­er­al­i­sa­tion, the pres­ence of for­eign freight for­warders has con­sid­er­ably in­creased in In­dia. As a re­sult, the frag­men­ta­tion in the in­dus­try has also in­creased. Pres­ence of for­eign for­warders has con­sid­er­ably af­fected the busi­ness of In­dian freight for­warders.

How­ever, their pres­ence has not changed the struc­ture of lo­gis­tics in In­dia, nor have they en­hanced the level of skill and train­ing as they have also not made sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments in train­ing, lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture and equip­ment. What­ever has been done or claimed to be done is only an in­signif­i­cant to­kenism. The for­eign for­warders, by and large, have been con­spic­u­ous by their ab­sence in the lo­cal and na­tional ini­tia­tives taken up by freight for­warders through their as­so­ci­a­tions and fed­er­a­tions. There­fore, even by their pres­ence in In­dia, they have stayed for­eign in this re­spect. Many, in the in­dus­try ac­cuse for­eign freight for­warders of un­sus­tain­ably ex­tend­ing long credit pe­ri­ods, un­fair com­pe­ti­tion owing to un­equal play­ing field and poach­ing of trained per­son­nel, how­ever, a closer look at this is­sue re­veals that the sit­u­a­tion is no dif­fer­ent among the In­dian freight for­warders among them­selves. As the cus­tomer is con­cerned, they do now have an even more wider choice in an al­ready frag­mented mar­ket and have an even greater bar­gain­ing power than in the past.

One pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion of for­eign for­warders is, by and large, they don’t sign con­tracts on dot­ted lines. It is said that the lo­gis­tics con­tracts to­day are writ­ten in blood. For­eign freight for­warders have been more vig­i­lant about con­trac­tual terms and their le­gal con­se­quences com­pared to their In­dian coun­ter­parts. Whereas, most In­dian freight for­warders would sign con­tracts on the dot­ted line in good faith, with­out tak­ing se­ri­ous cog­nizance of the fine print as they rely on the kind­ness of the cus­tomers in im­ple­ment­ing the con­di­tions.

Since the for­eign freight for­warders in In­dia have nei­ther in­vested sig­nif­i­cantly in skill build­ing nor in in­fra­struc­ture build­ing nor in tech­ni­cal up­grad­ing of the in­dus­try, it seems their pres­ence of in In­dia, at least as of now, is purely op­por­tunis­tic and not a strate­gic one. They have there­fore not changed the face of the coun­try’s lo­gis­tics sec­tor.

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