Monday, October 19, 2009

India Freight And Logistics Update

Port and Freight Corridor Developments Underway
Shipping News Feature

INDIA – Rising levels of container and conventional shipping traffic is leading to further redevelopment of the subcontinents transport infrastructure. Following our report in August that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed between the Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation and the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) to develop a logistics hub in Rewari, news reaches us that preliminary works have commenced and similar agreements will see developments in Ahmedabad with plans afoot for similar facilities at Kanpur and Vapi (Maharashtra) if the proposed sites prove feasible.

Such modern developments will be essential if India is to shake off the image it has as lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of turnaround times where cargo is involved. Indian ports are notorious for the delays which can be incurred. Companies like AP Moller-Maersk, through their port management arm, APM Terminals are developing modern handling facilities at their Mumbai and Gujarat dockside terminals and are benefiting from a reported 60% increase in trade over the past couple of years.

It remains to be seen whether the supporting infrastructure to divert the country from its normal out of date practices and lack of suitable handling and transport facilities can be established at a pace fast enough to manage the growth which belies the current world trend. DFCCIL propose a system of road / rail freight corridors interspersed with multi modal terminals strategically placed along the routes.Hopefully the knowledge that much can be achieved in this underdeveloped market will spur transport savvy investors to continue the push for modernisation.