Authored Article by Mr Prakash Tulsiani – Containerisation To Boost Indian Logistics

August 08 , 2019

Seamlessly integrating the vast network of railways, highways, airports and waterways, India is gearing up to strategically position itself as a global containerised cargo destination. Prakash Tulsiani writes on the scenario.

It is broadly estimated that the average global container traffic has clocked a growth rate of around 10 per cent per year over the last 20 years. Intercontinental cargo movement and seaborne trade are expected to register a quantum leap in terms of volume in global freight transportation, driven by the emerging economies in Asia and Africa. On a world level, the share of containerised cargo has steadily risen to approximately 75-80 per cent of the global freight transport logistics. Though the containerised cargo segment in India is still lower than the world average, the Indian government is making rapid strides through coordinated efforts to provide effective supply chain solutions and transition to containerised cargo movement from break-bulk freight transport operations. It is also the need of our trading partners.

Evolution of water transport
India took the first step in uncorking the latent potential of the country's vast river network by flagging off the transport of the country's first inland waterway cargo from Kolkata to Varanasi on River Ganga. This was the country's first Inland Waterways Transport (IWT) containerised cargo. This was immediately followed by the shipping of 16 TEUs of containerised cargo from Kolkata to Patna also on the River Ganga, both key routes on National Waterway-1. India is using only 0.5 per cent of its inland waterways network to transport freight, which presents an extensive scope for leveraging the trade potential of the country's vastly untapped marine channels and coastal routes. In addition to gateway port volumes and the abolition of highly restrictive cabotage rules by the Indian government that eased key rules for foreign registered vessels regarding intra-India freight transport, hold the promise of positioning India as a global transhipment hub and significantly improve the business competitiveness of Indian ports by shifting container traffic from established port hubs in the vicinity. As Indian ports become ready for increased transhipment activities, supply chain services would become streamlined and efficient, kick-starting a renewed cycle of economic growth and capital investment in the country's coastal trade economy.

To read the article click here.

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