The Prime Minister called the launch of the National Logistics Policy a significant step in fulfilling the ‘pran’ (vow) of India becoming a developed country. “To ensure quick last mile delivery, end transport-related challenges, save time and money of the manufacturers, and prevent wastage of agro-products, concerted efforts were made and one of the manifestations of the efforts is the National Logistics Policy.” The resulting improvement in coordination will lead to the desired speed in the sector.
The Government has been relentless in its efforts to establish an efficient ecosystem to boost the efficiency of the Indian logistics sector, both locally and globally. Schemes like Sagarmala and Bharatmala accelerated the work of the dedicated Freight Corridors to improve logistics connectivity for systematic infrastructure development. Initiatives like the paperless EXIM trade process through e-sanchit, faceless assessment for customs, provisions for e-way bills, FASTag etc. have significantly increased the efficiency of the logistics sector. The PM GatiShakti – National Master Plan for muti-modal connectivity – launched by the Prime Minister last year, was a pioneering step in this direction.
Now, with the launch of the National Logistics Policy, the government’s trailblazing schemes and PM GatiShakti will get a further boost to maximize their impact for speeding up economic growth.
Reducing Costs and Improving Efficiency
The national logistics policy aims to reduce the logistics cost in India for improving the competitiveness of Indian goods both in domestic and export markets. This will improve efficiency across various sectors of the economy, encouraging value addition and enterprise.
According to K.K. Agarwal, Chairman & MD, CJ Darcl Logistics, the National Logistics Policy was the need of the hour for India to drive its economic growth by bringing in efficiency and lowering logistics costs. “The initiative would help bring logistics costs down to 8-9% of GDP from existing around 15% and make our products for domestic and international markets competitive.”
This policy has been the vision of the Prime Minister to develop world-class modern infrastructure through the integration of all stakeholders in holistic planning and implementation so that efficiency and synergy are achieved in the execution of the project.
Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Director and Practice Leader-Transport and Logistics, CRISIL, commented, “This is a holistic effort to increase the efficiencies of all aspects of the logistics value chain. Over the past five fiscals, the government has invested close to Rs 15 lakh crore in augmenting hard infrastructure such as roads, rail, ports, and airports. While this trend is expected to continue, streamlining of the functional aspects such as ease of movement, common interfaces/platforms for service providers and users, and skill development focused on the logistics vocations was imperative. The new policy clearly aims to achieve these.”
He believes that the policy’s right implementation and widespread adoption will help structurally reduce logistics costs and make a material difference to the growth of India's manufacturing and services sectors.
Integration of Technology
As a part of the policy, the Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP) will bring all the digital services related to the transportation sector into a single portal, freeing the exporters from a host of cumbersome processes. Another digital platform called Ease of Logistics Services (E-Logs) has also been started. Through this portal, industry associations can directly take up matters that are causing problems in their operations and performance with government agencies. A complete system has also been put in place for the speedy resolution of such cases.
Welcoming the National Logistics Policy, Mradul K, VP, Global Sales and Strategy, LogiNext, said, “This policy will set a new standard for a modern, digitally driven logistics sector. The Unified Logistics Interface Platform is a good move, which will bring in visibility in tracking, modern warehousing, and digitalisation of operations which are currently the need of the hour. The measures: IDS — Integration of Digital System, ULIP — Unified Logistics interface Platform, ELOG — Ease of Logistics, and SIG — System Improvement Group, will help drive resiliency and sustainability in building a trusted logistics ecosystem that will power inclusive growth. We at LogiNext have also been spearheading the digitization of this sector and will continue to work with all stakeholders involved to take this to the next level."
K.K. Agarwal at CJ Darcl Logistics, believes that, going ahead, the movement of goods via railways and shipping is set to see strong growth as ULIP becomes one of key trigger to drive logistics expansion and growth.
“The policy will bring transparency through digital integration in addition to boosting speed and efficiency. It will enable fast-paced logistics infrastructure development, better coordination among multiple stakeholders, simplify processes and documentation and boost last-mile connectivity,” said Shashi Kiran Shetty, Founder and Chairman, Allcargo Group.
“The NLP will also help create better accessibility for remote and difficult terrains through drones and help fuel other such innovations, driving overall efficacy. Also, digital freight networks will grow exponentially due to this policy, ensuring return loads and lower dead miles for the transporters,” added Swarup Bose, Founder and CEO, Celsius.
Speaking on the initiatives under NLP, Swarup Bose, Celsius, said, “E-Log, standardisation of warehousing, paperless, digital documentation, GatiShakti Vishwa Vidyalaya for training and upskilling of drivers and handlers, and thrust on greener transportation through EV’s etc., are all powerful reforms that will set the pace to building an efficient, cost-effective, and tech-enabled logistic sector for India.”
According to Sameer Shah, Director, Candle Partners, the policy is likely to boost prospects for various segments across the entire logistics value chain including Air Cargo operators, Container Train operators, Road Logistics players, Warehousing players, Express logistics players, amongst others. For logistics players like Bluedart, the real-time monitoring of cargo, unified integration of surface and air cargo movement would lead to network optimization and faster deliveries. Express logistics companies like TCI Express would benefit from the single window logistics interface leading to faster deliveries. A leading player in rail transportation like Container Corporation will be a key beneficiary as the freight share of railways increases over the years. Standardization of warehouses would lead to a shift of demand from the unorganized standalone warehouses to large, organized warehousing operators like Mahindra Logistics.
Rizwan Soomar, CEO and MD, DP World Subcontinent, commented, “The policy’s focus on promoting green logistics, by increasing the freight share for sustainable modes of transport like rail, inland waterways and coastal shipping is a welcome move.”
For the products manufactured in India to dominate the world market, it is crucial to have a strong support system. The National Logistics Policy will greatly help to modernize this support system. Strengthening of the logistics sector will not only make the life of common man easier but will also bring more respect to the workers.
Shashi Kiran Shetty, Allcargo Group, added, “The NLP will usher in more inclusive progress for our country with greater employment generation opportunities and efficient logistics services delivery, especially for small businesses. NLP brings a holistic approach to making India self-reliant and a global manufacturing hub. With an ambitious goal to bring down logistics costs by up to 25%, this could lead to a paradigm shift in the logistics industry in India and will boost India's export competitiveness in the global market. The NLP will act as a guiding and driving force for the new phase of growth."