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2 September 2014 | Will Green
India must transform its logistics infrastructure if it wants to compete on the world stage, according to an industry body.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) said the costs of shipping a container from the country were double that of China and turnaround times at its best port were three times longer than competitors.
Rana Kapoor, president of ASSOCHAM, said: “If we want to become an exporting nation with a strong manufacturing base, the Indian logistics infrastructure, be it port, airport, roads, rail network, must be of international class.”
ASSOCHAM, citing World Bank data, said it cost around $1,200 (£722) to ship a container from India, compared to $600 (£361) from China and $400 (£241) from Singapore. At the same time the turnaround time for a container in Mumbai’s port was 36 hours, compared to less than 12 hours in Singapore, Dubai, Shanghai and Colombo.
“Delays in transporting goods are one of the most irritating experiences for the businesses within India and those engaging with international trade,” said ASSOCHAM.
The organisation said there were 177 inter-state checkpoints and 268 toll plazas across national highways, “leading to costly delays”, and technological solutions like smart cards for toll payments were “required without delay”.
“The entire transport sector must be dealt with in a holistic manner and there is a great case for a well integrated system across different departments of the central and the state governments,” said ASSOCHAM.