For nearly 23 years, I have been deeply entrenched in all aspects of logistics, spanning air, surface, rail, warehousing, contract logistics, 3PL, and 4PL. This extensive experience covers every stage, from pick, pack, and ship to managing first, mid, and last mile operations. In this expansive field, I have handled diverse responsibilities—from sales and operations to customer service, CRM, EBITA, and P&L—on a pan-India basis. This involvement is driven by ever-evolving market dynamics and changing customer expectations, emphasising the distinct role that the logistics and SCM industries play.
The logistics and supply chain sectors will contribute nearly 17 percent to India’s GDP in 2023, amounting to an impressive $296 billion. Aiming for $563 billion by 2030 with 9.4 percent YoY growth, the industry’s significance goes beyond support; it propels economic growth. Enabling product movement from manufacturing to e-commerce, logistics ensures cost-effective delivery, encompassing everything from needles to Bombardier. Employing around 22 million, it’s projected to employ 40 million by 2030.
Challenges and opportunities
However, the logistics cost, which constitutes 14 percent of India’s GDP, remains relatively high compared to global standards. This peculiarity can be attributed to India’s unique blend of changing demographics and geography. Addressing this challenge calls for substantial investment in infrastructure development, the establishment of expressways, integrated connectivity models, enhanced line hauls, route optimisation, and the adoption of IT-enabled services. In addition, the sector requires modern technologies like Material Handling Equipment (MHE), skilled labour, effective logistics training, and tailored Professional Development Programs (PDP/MDP) based on the distinctive needs of various business verticals.
The seamless movement of products through different transportation modes—air, surface, rail, and ocean—necessitates a deep understanding of customer operational requirements. This involves adhering to principles such as Just in Time (JIT) and stringent Turnaround Times (TAT), ensuring customer satisfaction while efficiently meeting India’s logistics demands.
Warehousing and value addition
Warehousing and contract logistics emerge as pivotal players in inventory control and storage management. The incorporation of value-added services (VAS), including picking, kitting, binning, packaging, and pricing, serves as a critical differentiator in the logistics movement of products. Overcoming challenges like damage, extra, pilferage, shortage, and interchange (DEPSI) requires meticulous operational alignment, customer-centric approaches, and IT-enabled services that emphasise honesty and transparency.
Vision for the future
The Ministry of Logistics and government logistics Strategic Business Units (SBU) play instrumental roles in shaping the industry’s future. By focusing on scaling economies, developing infrastructure, and capitalising on shifting market dynamics, India is poised to usher in a prosperous era for the logistics industry. The convergence of people and technology, in the spirit of serving the people, will define the sector’s journey ahead.
The convergence of people and technology, in the spirit of serving the people, will define the sector’s journey ahead