In a first, the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) has tied up with Japan’s NEC Corporation to provide logistics support to Indian exporters.
The move comes amid growing clamour for collaborative efforts by various ministries to reverse a slide in exports by working towards reducing massive logistics costs that have been steadily eroding India’s trade competitiveness.
Using this service, an exporter can track on a real-time basis the movement of his container by rail or road from a goods depot until the final loading at the JNPT port — all for a paltry sum of R125 per container. Goods coming out of the port are also tracked accordingly until they reach the depot.
Asked if it’s going to be a profitable venture, considering the paltry charge, Alkesh Kumar Sharma, chief executive of DMICDC, told FE: “The idea is not to make profits initially but to help build up a system to reduce logistics costs and help exports. This service will help in reducing the overall lead time of the container movement across the western corridor and lower the transaction costs incurred by the shippers and consignees.” Longer time required to despatch goods for outbound shipment has been cited by traders as one of the biggest drivers of the country’s elevated cost to export. India’s exports have contracted in 20 of the past 21 months through August, putting immense pressure on the government to address the issue of high logistic costs.
DMICDC Logistics Data Services, the 50:50 joint-venture company between DMIC Trust (through which the centre releases funds for various DMIC projects) and NEC, currently provides this service for the JNPT port only.
However, DMICDC is in talks with state governments, especially Gujarat and Maharashtra, to explore the possibility of providing this service at some of the maritime ports there. So far, an impressive 8 lakh containers have been tracked through this service since it was launched in July.
Various ministries–including commerce and industry, shipping, and roads–are actively involved in this project, Sharma added. Any delay or wrong-doing, and at what level, can be tracked through this system and effective steps can be taken to address it, he added.