CFS remains crucial for cargo evacuation
The 14th Annual Day celebrations at CFSAI brought to the fore the crucial role CFS plays in faster evacuation of cargo.
CFS are the essential cog in the wheel if ports are to expedite their cargo evacuation process, announced Gopal Krishna, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, at the 14th Annual Day Celebration of CFSAI. Emphasising on the significant role of CFS in quick delivery of cargo, the Chief Guest of the event further said, “In order to enhance DPD from 40 per cent to 70 per cent, the government is trying to remodel the cargo evacuation system with the CFS at the fulcrum. Ports need to concentrate on their core function, while the CFS should take the burden of being the first repository of the boxes so that evacuation is achieved in 24 hours.”
However, he added, DPD was not the panacea that will bring down congestion as out of the 40 per cent DPD achieved almost 30 per cent
DPD evacuation was being done by CFSS. He appreciated the lead taken by CBEC and Dr Vivek Johri to change their image from regulatory body to facilitator.
As per the latest government plan, within 24 hours of landing, a container will move out of the port to a CFS with minimal processing. The regulatory paperwork and bundling, unbundling and repositioning of cargo would happen at the CFS. If a truck bringing export boxes to the port can carry import boxes to CFS on its return leg then it can reduce congestion at the port.
“CFS industry until a few years ago was in a bad state, but has now moved a long way ahead,” emphasised Shashi Kiran Shetty, Chairman, Allcargo Logistics, in his keynote address. Earlier the ports in India were always congested and the government had appointed Prof. Raghuram, the Research Head of IIM Ahmedabad to study and consult on how to decongest Ports. He suggested to develop more CFS and ICDS, and thus CFS as an industry developed.
He suggested that government should promote PPP projects, acting as a facilitator without being interested in monetary benefits. These investments will be game changers.
Introduction of GST has redefined the roadmap for logistics, resulting in development of larger warehouses. Cabotage relaxation has brought a big boost to coastal shipping. CBIC and Customs have brought about a paradigm shift from being a regulator to become a facilitator. The Guest of Honour Dr John Joseph, IRS Member (Budget and Investigation) Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs (CBIC) highlighted how they dealt with critical challenges with initiatives for improvements such as - double decker trains, E-waybill, SDT, Fast Tracks, Customs’ e-seal linked to GST and cargo tracking.
“The industry is at a threshold of big change,” remarked Shantanu Bhadkamkar, President, AMTOI, and the change drivers are digitization, e-commerce, Block chain and regulatory changes. Sharing customer’s point of view, Pramod Sant, VP, Siemens said customers’ have been observing positive change in the logistics industry and in his view globalisation has played a key role.
The changes are happening at the border and behind border in Customs area. In line with WCO, AEO is handholding and rewarding those who are compliant. Counting the trends that brought about a paradigm shift in the logistics sector, Capt Deepak Tewari, Chairman, CSLA, pointed at digitisation in logistics, extension granted to vessel sharing agreement, relaxation of Cabotage and growing transhipment at Indian ports.
Neeraj Bansal, IRS, Chairman in-charge, JNPT said his port once had highest dependency on ICD. Regular meetings of ministries are being sought with focus on dwell time, operations and efficiency. Now there is a special vision and logistics has an independent specialised team in the ministry.
Vivek Johri, IRS, Chief Commissioner, JNCH said, the focus had to change from documentation to cost and time efficiency for releasing goods, and for this creation of appropriate infrastructure is necessary. The focus is now strongly on pre-arrival procedures and rigid targets are set for releasing goods in specific time.
Anant Swarup IRPS, Joint Secretary (Logistics) appreciated the establishment of a specific wing for logistics in Economic Ministry. The industry for many years was stagnant at $300 billion, but is now working on diversification, reaching out to different markets such as Latin America, Subsaharan Africa, he said. “The govt is now making us run our business in a good way connecting all dots,” remarked Nailesh Gandhi, President, AMTOI. GST has brought in efficiency and the manufacturing sector in the country has got a boost with this reform. New corridors are opening and more of mini and small businesses will crop up soon.