The 10th Managing Committee meeting and 3rd Extended Board meeting of the Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India (AMTOI) for the term 2017-18 were held on June 12, 2018 at the ITC Grand Central in Mumbai. The interactions saw participation from the Managing Committee members and Extended Board members, respectively. A range of issues of importance to the wider maritime, cargo and logistics trade were discussed at the meetings which were presided over by Mr Nailesh Gandhi, President of AMTOI, Mr R. K. Rubin, Vice-President, Mr Xerrxes Master, Honorary Secretary and Mr Ravindra Gandhi, Honorary Treasurer.
Invitees to AMTOI’s Extended Board are ACAAI, ACTO, AIMTC, CSLA, CAI, CFSAI, CCTA, FFFAI, FEDSAI, INSA, IPPTA, WISTA and HTOA.
This was followed by a presentation by Mr Neelesh Mundra, Partner, McKinsey & Co., on the general state of and Trends in logistics in India. He began by saying that there is today a buzz about the Indian logistics sector, with the markets seeing it as the next big thing. However, there are issues, he pointed out, a key one being the hidden costs due to inefficiencies such as damage, inventory carrying costs, theft, etc.
According to him, the high logistics cost in India is a myth; logistics in India is not expensive but has a lot of inefficiencies, he said.
Another myth, he stressed, is that India can move a lot more cargo by rail. It is now 27-33 per cent and can go up to a maximum of 38 per cent. Beyond that it would be inefficient, he opined.
Mr Mundra called for opening up the coastal sector and tapping its full potential in order to significantly reduce costs. He also stressed on the need for an end-to-end, efficient cold chain, pointing out that currently nearly 40 per cent of the agri produce in India is damaged due to inefficiencies in every part of the cold chain.
Making a point about the road sector, he said that while the condition of the roads is today much improved, there is a significant shortage of drivers which needs to be resolved.
He also emphasised on the need for having a common Ministry of Transport, rather than different logistics ministries working independently. The Department of Logistics set up in the Ministry of Commerce is an interesting move, he felt.
In addition, he touched upon the lively start-up scene in logistics in India, with a number of service providers and facilitators mushrooming, especially online, and leveraging technology to offer solutions regarding supply chain issues.
Summarising, he said the government has taken the right steps both in infrastructure spending and policies, India needs to leverage its coastline to have more effective logistics, and that operating models need to change to ensure productivity improvement and skill building, among other things.
The session ended with a lively interaction where many pertinent questions were raised by the members of the audience.
The evening ended with cocktails and dinner hosted by Mr Yogesh Parekh of the Parekh Group where several leading luminaries of the industry were present, including Mr Neeraj Bansal, IRS, Chairman I/C of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.