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As a leading industrial and logistics property developer, what is your wishlist for the government?...

As a leading industrial and logistics property developer, what is your wishlist for the government? Land has been a challenge for developers trying to build a robust warehousing asset portfolio and drive this segment, says Abhijit Malkani, CEO, ESR India. “If land could be aggregated by the government and allotted to developers, it would reduce our turnaround time in establishing these assets.” “ESR has proven capability in developing multi-storey warehousing facilities in the Asia Pacific region and is creating a multi-storey portfolio in key cities in India, however, height restrictions of 21 m limit the buildings to a G+2 structure and reduce efficiency,” continues Malkani. “Single window clearance within three months for all development approvals should be implemented, including change of land use allowing warehousing development; this will facilitate faster deliveries and support the growth of this sector.” What logistics challenges would you want the government to address and why? “Logistics is a fast-paced industry that is inextricably linked to the macro environment,” observes Sushil Rathi, COO, MLL Transportation & Procurement, & CEO, Lords Freight. “The last two years have been especially volatile for the industry, and as a result, several challenges have become more pronounced.” “We seek intervention from government for the poor physical infrastructure leading to the lack of efficiency in ports, one of the biggest industry problems,” says Rathi. “Efficient ports would lead to a reduction in logistics costs, reduction in inventory and thereby better availability of goods and a smooth supply chain.” “The Indian marine trade has been challenged by the container constraint,” continues Rathi. “Sea freight costs have increased by between 300 and 350 percent as a result of the lack of containers, according to the Federation of Indian Export Organisations. Ample containers for ocean carriers would improve the speed of moving imports and exports.” The logistics sector is crucial for balancing both domestic and foreign trade, as well as for maintaining the nation’s economic environment, adds Rathi. “Therefore, the government should actively assist in developing manufacturing bases in India as a substitute for China. What government measures would help boost rail cargo, logistics, cold storage facilities and allied services at various stations? Rail logistics need a better per unit freight over all transit times, says Umesh Bhanot, Regional Head South Asia, APL Logistics. “For this to happen, we need wagons with higher cubic capacity that will reduce the per unit costs. The upcoming Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) will have a minimum height availability of 5100 mm from rail level, markedly higher than that over the Indian Railways (IR) network. Making a greater height envelope uniformly available across the IR would enable the seamless movement of high capacity wagons across the entire IR network including the DFC. In addition, the development of storage facilities, especially cold storages at select stations could be done cost effectively. Government initiatives in the rail sector would create opportunities for infra developers to develop freight terminals and sidings, and to design and manufacture railway wagons.”

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