All is well that ends well

Maritime Gateway - - From The Editor - R Ram­prasad Ed­i­tor and Pub­lisher ram­[email protected]­way­

The year 2018 has been a year of grow­ing trade, ad­dress­ing in­ef­fi­cien­cies and gaps across the in­fra­struc­ture, lo­gis­tics and sup­ply chain, de­vel­op­ing and ex­e­cut­ing tech­nol­ogy-based so­lu­tions. The in­dus­try wel­comed 2018 in high spir­its as In­dia’s con­tainer­ised trade was rid­ing a high tide. The con­fi­dence re­ceived a fur­ther boost when Fi­nance Min­is­ter al­lo­cated `5.97 lakh crore in the bud­get for in­fra­struc­ture, mark­ing an all-time high al­lo­ca­tion to rail and road sec­tors. On the reg­u­la­tory front, Cab­o­tage re­lax­ation, re­vised Model Con­ces­sion Agree­ment for ma­jor ports, Na­tional Lo­gis­tics Pol­icy, pol­icy for MMLPS, e-seal­ing of con­tain­ers and e-way bill con­trib­uted to im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency of cargo move­ment, which re­flects in the spir­ited uptick of In­dia’s con­tainer­ised trade dur­ing the sub­se­quent quar­ters of 2018.

Trade with BRICS part­ner na­tions has seen a rise of 14 per cent. Pro­mot­ing trade with Asia Pa­cific Trade Agree­ment mem­bers In­dia de­clared con­ces­sions on 3,142 prod­ucts. Dur­ing the pe­riod April to Sep­tem­ber 2018, ma­jor ports recorded a growth of 5.12 per cent and to­gether han­dled 343.26 mil­lion tonnes of cargo as against 326.54 mil­lion tonnes dur­ing the pre­vi­ous year. In­dia’s rank in Trad­ing Across Bor­ders has taken a quan­tum leap from 146 to 80 in the Do­ing Busi­ness re­port of World Bank. The im­prove­ment in trad­ing across bor­ders by 66 ranks in one go shows how trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion has helped in cut­ting down time and cost.

GST erased in­ef­fi­cien­cies in tax sys­tem and en­abled faster tran­sit times, bring­ing 1820% sav­ings to the trade, and ben­e­fit from GST is ex­pected to be $215 bil­lion by 2020. East-west DFCS, about 800 kms of which was sched­uled to be ac­com­plished this year, will pro­vide seam­less con­nec­tiv­ity to the hin­ter­lands. DPD has trans­formed the role of CFS, mak­ing them more cru­cial for swift cargo de­liv­ery. The lo­gis­tics in­dus­try has seen many ser­vice providers trans­form into end-to-end so­lu­tions providers. While the in­dus­try took to dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, many tech­nol­ogy start-ups of­fer­ing so­lu­tions on Blockchain and AI cropped up and will be the cat­a­lyst in trans­form­ing an ef­fi­cient sup­ply chain.

Coastal ship­ping has seen more tak­ers in South East Asia. In­dia and Bangladesh be­ing the pi­o­neer, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are fol­low­ing the suit with many more among the BIMSTEC coun­tries plan­ning a shift to this cost-ef­fi­cient mode. Not to stay be­hind, in­land wa­ter trans­port is set to pick up in a big way, with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in­au­gu­rat­ing the mul­ti­modal ter­mi­nal de­vel­oped in Varanasi on NW-1 and as Union Ship­ping Min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari flagged off cargo move­ment on the Pandu-dhubri route.

The year 2018 has seen a lot of pos­i­tive en­ergy sur­round the in­dus­try and is here to sign off on a happy note. The in­dus­try is in a stand-still wait­ing for the elec­tions to get over and per­haps ex­pects to move for­ward with the same zeal in the New Year. Wish­ing you all a Happy and Pros­per­ous New Year!

The im­prove­ment in trad­ing across bor­ders by 66 ranks in one go shows how trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion has helped in cut­ting down time and cost.

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