A key driver of the economy, the freight services sector propels India’s overall development. This sector calls for intense focus to ensure time-bound creation of world class infrastructure in the country, encompassing both the means of surface and air transport. In particular, heavy equipment freight services in India play a significant and crucial role. The logistics industry has made great strides to achieve 16% annual growth over the past half a decade. It comprises the following two main segments:
Freight and passenger transportation via road, rail, air and water
Warehousing and cold-storage
The contribution from the movement of goods including freight transportation and storage is about 90 per cent. Aggregate freight traffic is estimated to be 2.3 trillion tonne kilometres. Road dominates the freight transport mix with 60% of the total traffic. Rail and coastal shipping account for about 32% and 7% respectively.
For the financial year 2014-15, upto December, 31, the approximate earnings of Indian Railways were estimated to be Rs. 114,656.13 crore. In this the freight traffic was worth Rs. 77,161.55 crore.
With more thrust on containers being routed through major ports, the marine sector also witnessed 7.34 percent rise. It has been forecasted that by the end of 2017 port traffic will amount to 943.06 MT for India’s major ports and 815.20 MT for its minor ports. Meanwhile, the Kolkata Port Trust and the West Bengal government are jointly setting up a new port at Sagar Island. Costing Rs 11,900 crore it will be the first port to be built by the Government of India in 14 years.
The freight ferried by airlines on both domestic and international flights too has witnessed rise in the overall trends. Indian aviation market is expected to become the third largest across the globe by 2020 and handle 336 million domestic and 85 million international passengers. Indeed, international cargo agencies in India like the New Delhi-based Air Shagoon have enabled all these trends. This company has made a mark in handling specialised freights. Considering the huge gap between potential and current air travel penetration in India, the prospects of growth of Indian aviation market are enormous.
Veteran journalist and also an expert commentator on issues of logistics and material handling, Tirthankar Ghosh has rightly opined that the ‘Make in India’ campaign mooted by the Prime Minister in the Independence Day address, will lend a fillip to the freight operations in India. This he has analysed from the view point that the strategy of the PM’s clarion call centres round –
Enhancement and improvement of infrastructure
Easing business through delicensing and deregulation
Opening up Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in construction, railways, and defence
Thus there are challenges ahead, Ghosh adds by contending improvement in infrastructure, roads and railways, the logistics sector will benefit the most lending a fillip to the freight forwarders and air cargo operators. Of course, the focus of his article has been on the segment of air freight as such there is scope for further growth when one reckons the surface modes of transportation. These are the rail, road, marine and inland waterways though this is very much limited to only certain regions.
As for these trends, the sector of heavy cargo transportation services in India will have an uphill task in countering the various challenges. Incidentally, in the budget speech, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu reiterated that the railways must enhance its freight-handling capacity to keep pace with the expansion of freight carrying network capacity.
On this score, he disclosed that the government has mooted the formation of a public sector undertaking (PSU) named Transport Logistics Corporation of India (TLCI). Initially, this PSU will concentrate on select railway stations to develop common user facilities in handling and also rendering value-added services for the storage and movement of goods. It will be a joint exercise with the existing the government-owned Container Corporation of India (ConCor) in offering integrated end-to-end logistic solutions.
Considering the on-going numerous mega infrastructure projects, there are highly bright prospects for heavy equipment freight services in India. Those engaged in this arena hail from the organised and the non-organised sectors. In terms of technical, legal, commercial and allied aspects, the former must come forth in educating the latter which in the long run augurs well for the industry of freight operations in the country.
The condition of cargo transport in India has improved lately. Many organizations are in the business of providing goods delivery services to various parts of the country and abroad. They have enhanced the standards of the entire process. Given the huge size of our country, it requires expert help to deliver the various types of shipment to their final destinations.
Several vehicles are used in the transportation of the products. You would need to discuss your requirement with them to get the right vehicle for the delivery of your products. The nature of the shipment also decides the delivery type. The lightweight and fragile products require special care during their transportation.
The weather has always been a problem for the delivery agencies. It can literally put the delivery schedule in disarray. Therefore, several agencies have backup plans in case of the appearance of a threatening weather. The rail and the road routes are the affordable routes of moving products from one place to another.
The things that delay the delivery of those routes are natural calamities and paperwork. That’s why many organizations prefer the air routes. It’s a quick way to transport products to their destinations. The weather problems do exist on this route too. However, the short delivery time is more than compensate for the delay.
The arrival of several technologies has also enabled the agencies to improve their cargo service in India. Nowadays, you can easily track the movement of your shipment by accessing the given site or app by the delivery agency. Just submit the tracking number and you will get the desired information conveniently. The delivery agencies also provide notifications related to the shipping movement of the products at various time points. Just select a good agency and let them take care of all the delivery related matters in their experienced hands.