India’s performance has seen a rise along key dimensions like customs (up 27 ranks from 2014) and tracking and tracing (up 24 ranks from 2014). It has shown modest improvements in international shipping (up five ranks from 2014) and timeliness (up nine ranks from 2014). However, it is worth noting that India has moved up since 2014 in all key six indicators used to compute international LPI. This shows that despite the trade shrinkage due to prevailing international conditions, Indian logistics providers are seeing improvements in customs procedures, tracking of shipments and improvements in infrastructure within the sector.
From being a trucking/ warehouse a.k.a godown/ cargo/ parcel business, logistics has transformed itself to an integrated logistics business. The past two decades have brought about many changes, such as the conversion of roadline companies to integrated logistics companies, followed by the emergence of logistics companies like TCI, GATI and SAFEX; that have changed the way logistics was done or thought of. The MNC players have amazingly refined the way express business was carried out in Bharat, wherein Bluedart Express, AFL and DTDC made their presence felt.
The further enhancement in Bharat’s logistics was marked by more than 4-5 years of gen-x transformation as well. Hence, technology, automation, data analysis formed the crux of it. The new age logistics in India now surpasses our imagination. Companies like Delhivery, Ecom Express, Gojavas are the live examples of this vigorous conception.
Now, beyond Indian logistics, another alien has emerged. On-demand logistics for B2B, B2C and C2C startups with cutting edge tech and user/ customer apps have taken it to a different level. Our company, City Link (formulation of 30 years’ experience by Mr. R. Jayakumar and conceptualized by Mr. Puneet Prakash) is an example of this disruptive business.
- The enterprise services in City Link comprise of customized Trucking Solutions for small / medium & large business setups, with high-end technology for smart fulfilment of in-city logistics.
- Book a truck in a click for instant, on-demand services and expect reliability & transparency while you deal with City Link.
- The hybrid model is based on “Commitment meets Convenience” mantra, where one can commit the number of trips and City Link will guarantee you the convenience of express services
In the years ahead, India should aim to improve performance along key dimensions on the international as well as domestic LPI, where it is relatively a laggard. These include focusing on the timeliness of shipments and on removing infrastructural bottlenecks and improving the quality of infrastructure. It has done well on this year’s Index owing to the commitment to improve connectivity with the world. Hopefully in the years ahead, along with focusing on Make in India there is also a commitment to Move in India.
To further bolster the digital eco-system of the country, the government should announce dedicated spending on ICT just like some other sectors like education, health and other infrastructure. A fixed percentage of the government budget spend on digital infrastructure will give multi fold returns to India’s GDP and help bridge the digital divide by bringing more and more Indians to the digital main stream.
The union budget 2016 focused more on skill development and improving our infrastructural capabilities. As India advances on its path to gain technological supremacy, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and big data will be the key drivers to economic growth. It is now an opportune time to up skill our brain pool with the right skill sets to ensure they are increasingly kept relevant to the growing needs of the industry. The country is now looking towards a more connected tomorrow. With a projection of estimated 20 billion connected devices by 2020. It is necessary that India channelizes all its resources to ensure we are ready for this rapid technological sprint. The 2017 budget should continue to focus on ‘ease of doing business’ and its thrust on the development of the technological infrastructure.
[By Mr. Raman Kaul – GM – Corporate Planning (Jayem Logistics)]