Effective, Efficient and Modern Logistics is a glue that binds the economy and society together and is a key to rapid economic development of the country. Given that several important areas in the logistics sector fall within the domain of the State Governments, there is a need for coordinated action and focused attention.
In this context, the Hon'ble Commerce and Industry Minister has conveyed an 18-point agenda for action to States. Principal among them is setting up an institutional mechanism for the Logistics sector.
Illustrative List of Areas for Integrated Development of the Logistics Sector in States/UTs
- Create aggregation points for farm produce and products from MSME sector at the first mile preferably with multimodal connectivity. This will necessitate identifying production and manufacturing clusters in the state that the efficient forward aggregation of supplies to varied markets can be implemented.
- Establish logistics parks with truck parking locations and warehousing facilities in peri-urban areas near cities. This will decongest urban centres by shifting terminal level freight handling outside of city limits, for both food and non-food supplies into each city. It will also allow for a more controlled flow of smaller last-mile delivery vehicles into high density urban zones.
- Move towards an eco-system of minimal inspection and stoppages of trucks on road by tax, transport, and police, helping transporters achieve maximum operational efficiency, while also moving towards a smart enforcement model that allows the state administration achieve its regulatory goals with much lesser deployment of resources. This can be done by using digital information available in E-way bill database of GSTN, e-challan systems developed by some states, VAHAN, SARATHI and Fastag developed by MoRTH.
- Identify truck movement choke points and address these bottlenecks with a view to improve Truck Travel Time Reliability in the State. This will contribute to improve ease-of-doing logistics in the state and smoothen intra-state and inter-state movement of goods.
- Earmark dedicated parking spaces along highways and major roads for trucks and resting places for drivers. This will bring best practices for the human factor in trucking, to build a value system that reduce accidents and add to quality of life of truckers.
- First Mile/ Last Mile connectivity to National Economic Corridor and major transportation projects including major Rail, Air and Shipping / inland waterways terminals. This will ensure inter-modal connectivity and intermodal shipments, so as to optimize logistics costs and streamline operational delays. Developing a State action plan that leverages existing passenger transport infrastructure such as inter and intracity buses and mass rapid transit system for last mile parcel distribution logistics during off hours or off-peak hours.
- Transport infrastructure and traffic planning for last mile delivery within the city boundaries. This will reduce conflicts between people transport and goods logistics and contribute to modernizing of traffic management initiatives.
- Leverage coastal shipping and inland waterways (where available) and railway network as an environment friendly and often cheaper alternative to transportation. This will maximize on advantages from economy of scale in moving goods and contribute to lowering of climate change impact from logistics.
- Infrastructure and planning for cargo movement for exports and imports (EXIM), wherever applicable. Airports, seaports, ICDs as gateways for EXIM movement need to be modernized to reduce lead times, waiting times and improve throughput of goods.
- Ensure modern material handling systems and facilities for weighment and X-ray screening for safely managing cargo movement as well to address security and transparency concerns
- Ensure easy availability of land and facilitative environment for conversion of land use, FSI / FAR relaxation for warehousing, relation in height of warehouses etc.
- Effective implementation of Carriage of Goods by Road Act, 2007. Improved compliance or associated shall provide opportunity to streamline road logistics, which comprises the major share in national logistics.
- Special focus on skill development and capacity building for the logistics sector. This will ensure the human backdrop also evolves with associated technological developments and is better integrated into the requirements of equipment, specialized goods, and future development.
- Effective grievance redressal and dispute resolution mechanism. There is the need to fast-track resolution of issues of logistics services so that this vital enabling sector can contribute more to domestic and international commerce and to national growth.
- Promote innovations to promote green logistics and reverse logistics. Collaborations that promote sharing of freight routes to minimise idling of transport units within states may be considered. Support development of other process and technology innovations that minimise polluting impact of logistics and optimises capacity utilization can be taken up.
- Develop State Logistics Plan. This will drive greater coordination between cross-sector implementing agencies for targeted outcomes and focused central government support. As a part of the State Logistics Master Plan, a network of warehousing, transport and distribution assets would be pre-identified, and crisis response action plans developed. In addition, the plan would include measures that allow seamless digital coordination of assets and human resource deployment during crisis. This would allow rapid and coordinated deployment of assets and personnel in the minimum amount of time during any crisis or emergency and ensure supply chains remain functional.
- Appointment of Nodal Officer for Logistics and Creation of State Logistics Cell. A senior officer to coordinate and liaise with Logistics Division of Commerce Ministry, so that matters can be resolved on priority at central government level. The State Logistics Cell would provide hand-hold businesses get all requisite approvals and clearances for setting up of new logistics businesses or expansion/modification of existing operations. This facilitation office could adopt a framework of best practices for procedural approval of facilities like warehouses or logistics parks.
- Setting of State Logistics Coordination Committee. This will facilitate the inter-state agencies to act in coordination to meet challenges faced in doing logistics in the state.