Sanjay Bhatia, Co-Founder, Freightwalla
In the year 2020, the pandemic brought global industries to their knees. The $160 billion Indian logistics industry was also not spared as it came to a standstill during the pandemic lockdown. The industry faced many challenges in terms of clearance, processing, and movement of shipments. A few technology-driven businesses managed to overcome some of the EXIM industry's challenges during the pandemic. The stumbling-blocks faced by the exporters and importers could have been avoided if the entire ecosystem was working digitally. There is a pressing need for a complete digital transformation of the industry to handle international shipments efficiently. Consider the case of customs that have taken part in their processes online. There are still many things that need to be re-moulded with advanced technologies. We hope the union budget will announce suitable investments towards the digitisation of the shipping and logistics sector.
A leap towards the initiative will bring in transparency, reduction in cost, and better cost management. Digitisation should also include implementing smart single-window clearance for smooth processing of shipments or approvals. Such initiatives will prepare us to tackle any untoward incidents in the future, like the current pandemic. Investments in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and blockchain technologies can facilitate complete transformation. It can boost productivity in every sector, and style a pretty effective and successful workflow.
Further, the Union Cabinet recently approved a multimodal logistics hub proposal and set up industrial corridor nodes at Krishnapatnam and Tumakuru. We hope to see implementations of these at the earliest. It will facilitate the transportation of goods, thereby cutting travel time and making the system more efficient.
There is also an expectation that the proposed National Logistics Policy may get announced during the announcement of union budget 2021. We are optimistic that that will improve productivity and reduce logistics costs.