In a bid to improve the quality of services offered by vendors for containerized movement of cargo at the first and last mile, state-run Container Corporation of India (Concor) has roped in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to strengthen its mobile app to facilitate continuous reverse auction for the first time among vendors. An in-house team of Concor is working with TCS on the project. At present, a vendor is selected for a particular area through an open tender process to transport containers from the site of a customer to Concor’s loading terminal and similarly another selected vendor transports containers to the delivery location of the receiver after being unloaded at the railway arm’s terminating facility.
However, according to VKalyana Rama, chairman and managing director of Concor, while the company is able to do container transportation business and fixed location services at inland transport depots well, there are issues in the end-to-end services. “Since we are a PSU, we need to outsource activity based on open tenders. So one outsource activity requires one vendor. At present we are dependent on the selected vendors for the quality of the service,” he said, adding that the company is now changing the method.
Concor already has an app which provides continuous transportation visibility of booked containers to customers. This mobile app is now being upgraded into a complete logistics platform.“It will be like any other platform such as Amazon or Uber. So when a customer will put in a requirement, empaneled vendors will get an intimation and will be allowed to put in quotes and there will be a continuous reverse auction process going on at the backend to offer the first and last mile services,” said Rama. He added that the quality of service will be continuously monitored.
The lowest bidder among the empaneled vendors will then be awarded the service and the customer will be informed about the logistics provider. According to Rama, once multiple vendors are empaneled through tendering, there will be more competition.
“The customer will get complete logistics solution from door-to-door. However, in the backend every activity will be matched to a vendor who will provide quality service at competitive price. We will monitor the quality service of the vendors constantly,” he added.
Concor is aiming to strengthen the app platform as the number of order is high. Last year, it processed 3.5 million twenty feet equivalent unit (TEU) of boxes. Considering that every container goes through at least two activities at each end of the journey by third-party vendors, 7 million outsourcing activity was needed. “So to execute 7 million reverse auctions, a robust platform is needed,” said Rama.