A virtual Logistics Conclave-2020 organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry stressed on the need to create transparent systems where the transport service providers and users become more vigilant, and a system is created for the government so that they can be actioned upon. “We need to focus on cost reduction, promote multi-modal transportation, reduce the time of turnaround trucking, and get more mileage on the capital investment in infrastructure. We need to plan integrated transport infrastructure,” deliberated Pawan Kumar Agarwal, IAS, Special Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GoI.

“We are working on standardization of warehousing infrastructure, grading, and rating of infrastructure so that a better market can be created for warehousing spaces. Railways are doing their best to support the core sectors of the economy. As regards cost reduction, cost is distributed in transportation, warehousing, inventory carrying, and other administrative charges. To reduce cost, we need to focus on transportation costs by reducing the time of turnaround trucks and shifting modals modes. Cost reducing will not happen unless the issue of first and last mile is taken care of. We need to leverage the reduced cost of railways and postal transportation and improvise transshipments. We are focusing on all these points in our logistics policy,” he informed.

Vandana Aggarwal, Sr. Economic Adviser, Ministry of Civil Aviation, GoI, in her deliberation said that the logistics sector is of crucial importance in the delivery of services (as was observed during the pandemic lockdown) and emphasized on integrating individual supply chains and advanced preparedness when finding solutions to any issues. “Indian logistics has matured; we have seen logistics meet the extraordinary circumstances. In the new normal, logistics needs to have more automation, safety, faster delivery, and performance must be ensured in the supply chain, while also leveraging the concept of multimodal transportation. We have to harmonize the law in a measured way and meet the financial requirements, while focusing on building a robust infrastructure for meeting future demands,” she said.

Pawanexh Kohli, Former CEO & Chief Advisor, National Centre for Cold Chain Development (NCCD), said that the logistics sector has been the backbone in building the nation and in providing job opportunities to the masses. The sector has been a resilient strong arm of India, however, in today's competitive world, logistics has to step up and ensure that supply meets the demand. The key mantra is ensuring deliveries in full and on time so that delays are minimized. “We need to promote multi-modal shipments and bring more value to meeting demand and supply. There needs to a special dispute resolution mechanism in this sector. We also need to formalize the enormous workforce in logistics through upskilling programs, and support mobility and cross-pollination between logistic domains. The logistics sector must reflect a modern, progressive India.”

The conclave was followed by a technical panel discussion on the roadmap to make India a Global Logistics hub. The session deliberated on the maximization of inter-modal efficiency to keep up with new demands; use of technology in increasing efficiency in supply chains; customer centric e-commerce, and facilitating faster, multimodal, and better operations through a robust supply chain infrastructure. Present were Capt. T S Ramanujam, CEO, Logistics Sector Skill Council (LSC), GoI; Shantanu Bhadkamkar, President, AMTOI; Pradeep Singhal, President, AITWA; Arun Karna, CEO & MD, AT&T Global Network Services India; and Dr. S B Saraswat, MD, Global e-Auctions.

Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, deliberated upon Make in India 2.0 and promoting India as a preferred destination for global investments. He stressed on designing an optimal supply chain configuration which can meet the expected growth rates, especially in India, in view of the needs of the global market.

According to him, the quality of responsiveness is becoming an important focus area for organizations in India. The ability of the supply chain to respond to a sudden demand increase or an unanticipated supply disruption provides an opportunity to capture new customers from competitors. Another important focus area for the Logistics sector is speed to market or freshness as in food and other consumer products, freshness is becoming a priority for consumers. In technology-led products, trumping the competition with better features and benefits can have a big impact on market share.

“Competence in logistics is also measured on delivered quality. It's no longer enough to deliver products complete and on time. Today's customers expect high-quality products. Besides sustainability, a focus area that will become an important area in India will be matching global standards and expectations in logistics.” He emphasized that the next-generation supply chains need to be efficient, fast, and tailored. A successful supply chain management enables market leaders to be twice as profitable and significantly more responsive to customers than their peers.”

Ramesh Agarwal, Chairman, Logistics Management Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, gave an industry outlook on the logistics industry, its challenges and opportunities, and moderated the technical session. Vipin Vohra, Co-Chairman, Logistics Management Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, delivered a formal vote of thanks to the delegates and participants. The conclave was moderated by Dr. Ranjeet Mehta, Deputy Secretary-General, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and was attended by many industry stalwarts from across India.
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