The National Logistics Policy (NLP) unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 19, is expected to reduce transportation costs across the entire supply chain. It is also expected to catalyse the adoption of technology in the logistics industry, which is still largely made up of unorganised players, industry experts said.
Shashi Kiran Shetty, Founder and Chairman of the Allcargo Group, said the NLP 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," Shetty said.
Similarly, Raaho Co-Founder and CEO Mohammed Imthiaz feels that digital freight networks will grow exponentially as a result of the policy, and bring about greener commercial transportation.
He added that digital infrastructure in logistics has ample headroom for growth over the next five years.
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“It is estimated that around 20,000,000 trips are made by trucks in India every month to transport goods, less than 10,000 of which are organised digitally,” Imthiaz said.
Sanjay Bhatia, CEO and Co-Founder, Freightwalla, also said that implementing cutting-edge technology and digitising the last mile will transform the shipping and logistics sectors.
"Going for a paperless system has been a long pending demand, and implementing the same will bring down the time involved in shipping, as well as eradicate corruption," Bhatia said.
Vinayak Chatterjee, founder and managing trustee, The Infravision Foundation, also said that one of the biggest plus points of the NLP was the government's plan to integrate e-platforms in logistics.
"Digital is the way to go to track performance and make changes," Chatterjee said.
Sachchidanand Shukla, Chief Economist, Mahindra & Mahindra, explained that an integrated digital system (IDS) will ensure smoother cargo movement and reduce logistics costs in India.
“The policy introduces the IDS, which will bring on one platform departments belonging to the ministries of road transport, railways, customs, aviation, foreign trade, and commerce. The digital data of these ministries is to be integrated under the IDS. This will help smoothen cargo movement and reduce logistical costs,” Shukla said.
Niranjan Hiranandani, Vice-Chairman, National Real Estate Development Council (Naredco), also said that the NLP provides a roadmap for seamless last-mile connectivity and an integrated platform and approach, which will help establish India as a global manufacturing hub.
"The policy will give thrust to the manufacturing, MSME, infrastructure, and real estate sectors, and generate much-needed employment and investment," Hiranandani added.
Prem Kishan Gupta, Chairman & MD, Gateway Distriparks, also said that the NLP will facilitate the adoption of technology, and the creation of a unified platform will speed up the movement of cargo.
"Faster movement by way of multimodal facilities (e.g., ports with train and truck terminals) will help reduce logistics costs," Gupta added.
The PM launched the national logistics policy on Saturday, which intends to boost international trade and reduce logistical costs in the country from 13-14 percent of GDP to just 8 percent.
The policy aims to develop a technologically enabled, integrated, cost-efficient, resilient, sustainable, and trusted logistics ecosystem in India.
India Inc. is looking forward to the benefits from the NLP. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said that lower logistics costs and greater efficiencies will energise the economy across sectors in multiple ways, and take us many steps closer to emerging as a global manufacturing powerhouse.
Similarly, Associated Chambers of Commerce (Assocham) Secretary General Deepak Sood described the policy as a transformative structural initiative that will substantially reduce transaction costs across the entire supply chain."It (the policy) will facilitate India being embedded across global value chains, as we move ahead on the path towards Bharat@100 (becoming a developed country by 2047)," Sood added.