The COVID crisis has emphasized the critical need for a reliable and efficient logistics network. While the present crisis has a profound impact on the logistics sector, players in this space have been on the frontline for keeping the supply chains and production lines running.
To discuss the way forward, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Association of Multimodal Operators of India (AMTOI), Federation of Freight Forwarders' Associations in India (FFFAI) and Freightwalla Inc, with media support by Daily Shipping Times jointly organised this webinar to shed light on Government's policy for businesses and logistics service providers to resume critical business operations.
Our Keynote Speaker:
- Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Government of India
Our Guest Speakers:
- Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI
- Ramakrishna S, Past Chairman, FFFAI
- Shantanu Bhadkamkar, President, AMTOI
- Sanjay Bhatia, Chief Executive Officer, Freightwalla
When: Thursday June 11th @ 5pm
Where: Online Webinar (Recording below)
Watch the Full Event
All essential products are made available to all parts of India from day 1 of the COVID-19 crisis, thanks to the efforts of the entire supply chain and logistics industry.
India exports were down by ~60% in April. In May, exports made a drastic improvement and was down by ~36%. In the first week of June, exports are almost at par with 2019 figures.
Imports are still down by 40% (mostly non-essentials).
The situation today
According to WTO, world trade is expected to fall by 13%-32%, depending on the country. However, it is expected that India will face a lower decline compared to other countries in its merchandise exports. The government has adopted very useful measures such as the Foreign Trade Policy including MEIS, extension of Interest equalization, rupee credit and many other schemes.
EXIM Cargo movements during acute shortage of labour
- Indian Railways has been actively moving freight at a 30% of modal Freight traffic, which they are targeting to double. of coal has reduced due to fall in industrial demand.
- Despite the various challenges, the logistics industry has helped ensure that there was no shortage of essential goods anywhere in the country.
- Mr Pawan Agarwal, Special Secretary Logistics will be organizing meetings with the rail freight team and finding solutions with regards to easing some of the constraints involved in the current movement of EXIM cargo.
- The Railways have also started parcel trains for 94+ routes for small lots of cargo. 3500 parcel trains are currently running.
- The Hon’ble Minister has asked FICCI to take the lead on coordinating with UP and Bihar Government for reverse migration of workers. The governments of UP and Bihar are actively working on the reskilling, reverse migration and monitoring of a fair deal for the workers.
- Companies/manufacturers need to facilitate better standards of living for the workers i.e. taking active measures towards better security, housing, nutrition, welfare of the workers.
- Tickets are available for migrant workers to come back to cities, 230 trains have already been run, however, companies must put in their own efforts to bring them back to work.
- Companies have started creating quarters and mess facilities for their workers, similar to Jebel Ali, Dubai, the largest companies of India are asked to consider this option as it is also cost effective.
- At Nhava Sheva terminal, there are various touch points that cause huge delays in the gate- in process as compared to other ports. Mr Pawan Agarwal will be addressing this by working with the Chief Secretary, Ports Chairman and shipping ministry to work out a solution for the gate-in processes.
- Mr Pawan Agarwal to address which agencies/departments have old dues to be cleared and which payments are under disputes.
- The minister also stated that transparency among logistics players is going to play a big part in the industry going forward and be a key determinant to India’s export competitiveness.
Freight Forwarders & Custom House Agents
- Freight forwarders and custom house agents are currently covered under the MSME status. Mr Pawan Agarwal will be working with the finance ministry to explore the possibility of giving Freight Forwarders and Custom House Agents an industry status. Gujarat and U.P have already done the same, however, this is requested at a pan-India level.
(Service Exports from India) SEIS License Scheme
- Freight forwarders have not been given clarity on which export activities are allowed or eligible under this scheme. Mr Pawan Agarwal to resolve this issue by probing DGFT, DRI & Finance to provide eligibility guidelines to forwarders.
India going forward
- This is the time to improve on productivity and efficiencies. The pains of April and May will be made up in the months until March 21 with volumes going up.
- It is advised to work towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat by using and producing Indian products. This is an important element of our trade policy. That being said, we are not closed off to the world, any imports that can improve India’s competitiveness and/or standard of living are welcome.
- The Hon'ble Minister is personally working in Four Industry Sub Sectors, i.e. Furniture/ Air-conditioning/Electronic Components and Textiles where India can emerge.
- Indian Shipping companies, Freight Forwarders, multi-modal transporters must work together to bring down the cost of logistics from 14% of GDP to the targeted 9%.
- To increase manufacturing and export of goods wherein India has competitive advantage, e.g. Auto components, leather goods, furniture, agriculture products etc. and accelerate the India Market story.