New Delhi, January 17, 2018

The newly set up logistics division of the Department of Commerce has initiated work on an integrated logistics portal that will be a transactional e-marketplace.

The move is aimed at simplifying the regulatory processes in both domestic and export-import (EXIM) logistics to reduce transactional costs and time.

“The e-market place will connect buyers as well as logistics service providers with all government agencies such as Customs, port community systems, sea and air port terminals, shipping lines and railways,” said an official from the Commerce Ministry.

In order to establish linkages with government agencies, the industry and academia to develop a detailed action plan, the logistics division plans to enter into formal partnerships with all the stakeholders. The Commerce Department on Tuesday signed an MoU with industry body CII to set up a logistics working group. The group aims to ‘foster focussed engagement with industry to examine logistical issues and recommend solutions’.

“Logistics can be the cause of success and the reason for failure. The speed of import or export, or doing business within country, will depend on logistics. The moment you bring down the cost of logistics, the volume will increase dramatically,” pointed out Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, stressing on the need to develop the logistics sector.

Agreement with CII

Under the MoU, CII will identify logistics challenges facing the industry and suggest action solutions to the Logistics Division. It will also interact with State governments and work on promoting the logistics sector, along with capacity building programmes. The two sides will cooperate in organising a national logistics convention each year to bring together stakeholders in the sector.

Logistics costs in India, at 13-14 per cent of GDP, are higher than those in developed countries. The World Bank Logistics Performance Index ranked India 35 in 2016 compared to 54 in 2014.

[The Hindu Business Line]