India plans to integrate fragmented logistics network

20 January 2021

India plans to integrate its fragmented logistics networks under the government’s mooted National Logistics Policy.

Piyush Goyal, minister for railways, commerce and industry, said the policy – which is under consultation – would result in better coordination of logistics centres through integration of various means of transport, documentation and stakeholders through technology platforms.

The government is increasingly viewing the logistics network as an obstacle to economic development and looking at ways to reduce costs and speed up logistics.

A study has warned India faces a “competitiveness gap” worth billions of dollars because logistics costs are more than a third higher than the global average.

Goyal said in a tweet that logistics were the lifeline of the economy and industry and the country was making massive efforts to bring down costs and expand the service railways provide.

He said by using the Covid crisis as an opportunity, railways had changed their pattern of working and been able to double average freight speeds to 46.77kph in 2020 compared to 22.47kph in the same period a year before.

He said by 2022 India expected to have fully operational eastern and western dedicated freight corridors, which would carry only freight, further increasing speed and bringing down costs.

The first stretches of the corridor have already been opened.

“The logistics team in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is trying to work towards integrating the various means of transport, documentation and stakeholders, including customs, ports, shipping companies, railways, trucking companies, inland waterways...through technology platforms,” Goyal said.

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