How Covid crisis is transforming India’s logistics industry

The supply chain disruption triggered by Covid-19-induced lockdown has prompted the manufacturing industry to shift from ‘just in time’ manufacturing to the agile ‘just in case’ manufacturing. Maintaining a buffer against disruptions is the new normal. Businesses are now looking at building resilience, chalking out contingency plans and bringing in agility.

During the lockdown, most businesses had no visibility of their stocks and inputs as goods were stuck across the country while in transit, in ports and on trucks. This was the period when the vulnerabilities were exposed bluntly to business organisations.

The CII Logistics and Supply Chain Leadership Conclave 2020 was based on ways to eliminate these bottlenecks.

Titled ‘Reimagining Indian logistic and supply chain in the age of uncertainty’, the session stressed on re-engineering processes, paperless and contactless documentation, capacity enhancement and multi-modal transport.

All major industry players maintained that the pandemic had accelerated transformation and digitisation of the manufacturing industry. They concluded that the way was ahead was to integrate technology into logistics. Supply chain is no longer just about moving packages. It has become a part of key business strategy, to be discussed at board meetings. Logistics now dictates production, sales and marketing plans.

Shohab Rais, chairman of the CII conclave and COO of Tata Chemical’s Indian Chemical Business, said the Indian logistics market is presently valued at $160 billion and is expected to go up to $215 billion in two years. It will grow further with the upcoming national logistics policy.

Maharashtra transport minister Anil Parab said the government had signed 12 MoUs worth `16,100 crore and a significant part of these investments was to be channelled into supply chain and logistics sector in the Pune and Thane region. The state is planning to promote multi-modal connectivity, technology-driven accreditation and standardisation process to support the supply chain eco-system within the state, Parab added.