Category Archives: Rail/Road

DB Schenker transforms its IT infrastructure with Microsoft Azure

DB Schenker collaborates with Microsoft to accelerate the logistics service provider’s transformation towards becoming a leading global digital logistics company. Within this collaboration, DB Schenker has set the next milestones for the evolution of its future ‘logistics-as-a-service’ approach. Markus Sontheimer, CIO/CDO, DB Schenker, says, “Our digital services will create value for our customers by making supply chains more data-driven and efficient. Using Microsoft Azure will boost our ability to seamlessly connect our cloud- based services with our real-world logistics solutions.” Ulrich Homann, Corporate Vice President & Distinguished Architect, Cloud + AI at Microsoft said, “Investments in digital technologies help companies reimagine their businesses and build more agile and resilient operations. By harnessing Microsoft Azure, DB Schenker enables organizations to redefine their supply chains and accelerate the delivery of new customer value.” DB Schenker will migrate key infrastructure services to Azure. This will enhance security, speed and scalability of DB Schenker’s cloud-based services. DB Schenker has already commenced the first cloud migration projects by using the Azure Migration Program in several country organizations. AMP supports with best practices, guidance, direct access to Azure engineers, tools and subsidized partner services. A new Big Data service on Azure will enable DB Schenker to analyse and optimise volumes, capacities and supply chain performance in near-real time.

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Government must look at providing financial & infrastructural support to the sector: Spoton Logistics

As India sets sights on the Union Budget 2021-22, Abhik Mitra, MD & CEO, Spoton Logistics, stresses upon few key pain points of the logistics industry that must be addressed in this year’s budget. He says, “With logistics holding the economy together even during the COVID-19 pandemic and set to play an even more crucial role in current times, the government must look at providing the much-required financial and infrastructural support to the sector. With India’s aim to reduce the logistics cost from the current 14 per cent of GDP to less than 10 per cent, it is imperative for the government to bring about a ground-breaking transformation in the logistics sector that encapsulates an increased use of digital technologies and automation. We urge the government to take dedicated measures to boost digitalisation so as to drive transparency and bring in the required predictability in logistics. Another key step that the government must take is to bring fuel under the purview of GST as this could fundamentally transform the Indian logistics sector. While goods are moved from one place to another, it is generally required for the transporter to carry a hard copy of the invoice, the government must also do away with this by way of e-way bill digitalisation.” “On the demand side, the government can look at driving the overall consumption which could be achieved by reducing personal income tax and GST on various goods, etc,” he adds.

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Additional taxes levied on petrol and diesel prices, leading to high cost of transportation, should be considered: Blue Dart

According to Aneel Gambhir, CFO, Blue Dart, “While the onset of the pandemic affected the logistics sector, the sector has stood the test of time by supporting the movement of essentials and non-essentials when the nation was under lockdown. We expect the government’s full support to revive the sector and in order to do so, the logistics cost should be reduced from the present 14 per cent of GDP to less than 10 per cent since high logistics cost is impacting the competitiveness of domestic goods in the international market. Investing in better road infrastructure will fasten the movement of goods, help in reducing the costs and improve turnaround time for vehicles. Improvement of air infrastructure and connectivity will help the logistics industry to boost this sector. Electric vehicles have the potential to aid in last-mile delivery while also adding to environmental protection. The Government should incentivize the use of electrical vehicles and focus on strengthening the infrastructure for enabling easy manufacturing and usage of EVs and EV-related elements. Similarly, Government could consider rolling back additional taxes levied on Petrol and diesel prices. The additional taxes levied during the pandemic are hurting the cost of transportation. It is also leading to high inflation.”

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We expect enhanced allocation to Indian Railways to complete Western DFC Project: Gateway Distriparks

The year 2020 has disrupted and challenged the logistics sector in different ways. However, the logistics sector still serves as one of the key economic drivers because of its thriving infrastructure and improved connectivity. Sharing his expectations from Union Budget 2021, Prem Kishan Dass Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, Gateway Distriparks, says, “We expect strong support and initiatives for the EXIM industry which will help in increasing volumes. We hope the budget will have enhanced allocation to the Indian Railways for completion of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project at the earliest, so that the industry can benefit from the new rail infrastructure at this time when the focus is to increase manufacturing in India. This will immensely benefit ports, exporters, importers, shipping lines, container train operators and other consumers of rail transport.” “As a Logistics company, we are looking at government’s increased investment in infrastructure, which will provide further impetus to boost the overall economy,” he adds.

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Daimler Trucks launches BharatBenz reefer truck for vaccine transportation in India

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) has unveiled the BharatBenz ‘BSafe Express’, a specialized reefer truck designed for the safe transportation of COVID-19 vaccines. Equipped with state-of-the-art connectivity, the BSafe Express uses newly developed refrigeration units that ensure the temperature and stability of the vaccines is accurately monitored and maintained at all stages of delivery. The reefer is mounted on the BharatBenz 2823R heavy-duty chassis.At the premiere of the truck in the Indian capital Delhi, Satyakam Arya, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles said, “The combination of a strong, reliable chassis with a lightweight, insulated reefer and state-of-the-art connectivity device makes BharatBenz’s ‘BSafe Express’ the perfect solution to India’s cold-chain infrastructure challenge. With this truck, we can deliver vaccines in perfect condition to even the most remote destinations, bringing hope of a return to normalcy to over 1.3 billion people.” India has recently started its corona vaccination campaign, aiming to vaccinate 300 million people by July 2021. The BharatBenz BSafe Express offers a solution to Indian logistics companies in the efforts to contribute to the nation’s goal of bringing COVID under control as quickly as possible. A daunting challenge in the second most populous country in the world.

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Shree Maruti Courier launches industry-first green energy supply chain, join hands with Hero Electric

Shree Maruti Courier Services has launched an eco-friendly delivery service using electric two-wheelers in five cities in India. The Ahmedabad headquartered company has kicked-off a pilot project in five major cities in India including Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Chennai. It has joined hands with Hero Electric, India’s largest electric two-wheelers company, and became the first company in the courier and logistic sector to initiate a novel concept of creating a green energy supply chain. The company plans to expand this service into 20 cities and to add more than 500 E-bikes in the financial year 2021. Speaking about the initiative, Ajay Mokariya, Managing Director, Shree Maruti Courier Services said, “We have launched a pilot project in the five cities in India and the response for the same has been very encouraging. The courier and logistics industry is very price sensitive and fuel cost is an essential element in our business. With the E-bike adoption, we would be able to reduce the fuel cost significantly, contribute to reducing carbon footprints, and provide competitive services compare to the traditional delivery tools. The delivery persons will also find it easy and comfortable to deliver the parcels within the city. This model seems more sustainable and cost-efficient for us and we are planning to roll-out the same in multiple cities in a coming time”. Speaking about the association, Sohinder Gill, CEO, Hero Electric said, “It has been our endeavor to partner with more and more businesses to convert their fleets into electric two-wheelers. We are happy to have partnered with Shree Maruti Couriers who are among the largest in our country to create this green corridor with our bikes. The new Nyx-HX …

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Maersk moves first-ever containerised cargo by rail from East Coast to West Coast in India

To overcome the challenges of space availability and connectivity, Maersk has provided landside movement of cargo from Kolkata to Nhava Sheva port on a dedicated train for its customer. Offering a truly integrated container logistics solution, Maersk also provided customs clearance in addition to ocean shipping. Flexibility and reliability in supply chains have become an important aspect for importers and exporters, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic hit global trade last year. Indian exporters have been exploring possibilities of scaling up production and shipping it out of India to global markets. The underlying challenges in the post-COVID ecosystem, however, have limited the opportunities from time to time for such exporters – one of the biggest challenges being that of space availability from certain pockets within the country. Building a truly end-to-end solution for the customer, Maersk offered to move the Doha-destined cargo on a dedicated train from Kolkata to Nhava Sheva port – this was the first time that such a movement took place from the East Coast of India to the West Coast – and then connecting the cargo to the required vessel. Not only was the landside transportation taken care of, Maersk also executed export customs clearance of the cargo before loading it on to the vessel. The cargo is expected to reach its destination in Doha over the coming days. Commenting on the historic move in landside logistics in India, Steve Felder, Managing Director, Maersk South Asia said, “At Maersk, we believe in enabling trade by designing solutions that connect and simplify our customers’ supply chains. We have recognised the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered in the ecosystem and are innovating solutions that didn’t exist in …

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Shell & Deloitte unveil ‘Decarbonising Road Freight’ report, aiming to achieve net-zero emissions targets

Based on the views of road freight executives and experts from around the world, Shell and Deloitte have put out a joint study on how to decarbonise the road freight sector. The ‘Decarbonising Road Freight: Getting into Gear’ report offers a detailed 10-year roadmap with 22 solutions aimed at addressing the economic, technical, regulatory and organisational factors influencing the sector’s ability to decarbonise. The report shows that more than 70% of study participants view hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles as the most viable long term zero-emission heavy duty truck technology, and many believe these trucks will become commercially viable in the next 5 to 10 years. “Trucks move virtually everything modern society depends on for daily life and during the current COVID-19 crisis, society has experienced just how critical road freight is in delivering essential goods,” said Huibert Vigeveno, Downstream Director, Shell, in adding, “However, road freight is currently responsible for around 9% of global CO2 emissions and with demand for road freight services set to double by 2050, urgent action must be taken now to put the sector on a pathway to net zero emissions by then. Fleet companies, truck manufacturers and energy providers have already started investing in low and zero emission solutions, but the sector requires a more robust set of policies and regulations to accelerate change.” Shell has also released a companion report named ‘Decarbonising Road Freight: Shell’s Route Ahead’ outlining Shell’s role in helping the sector decarbonise. The report outlines Shell’s climate ambition and plans to reduce the emissions intensity of its fleet of close to 3,000 contracted road haulage tankers by 10% by 2025 and by 30% by 2030, both …

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Domestic road freight sector to close FY2021 with revenue contraction of 12-14%: ICRA

The Indian logistics sector has witnessed a sequential recovery in months following the severe disruption in Q1 FY2021 on account of the nation-wide lockdown. The pandemic induced disruptions had created demand-side and supply-side challenges, however, as the restrictions eased and economic activity revived, the freight availability for logistics players also improved. Although the Y-o-Y volume and revenue contraction continued even in Q2 FY2021, the recovery has been faster than expected, with volumes reverting to year-ago levels by September 2020 and improving thereafter. According to Shamsher Dewan, Vice President, ICRA Ratings, “As the economy opened up and industrial, manufacturing, construction and consumption activities picked up pace, freight availability also improved, aiding recovery in the sector. Freight rates also held up in this period. As such, although revenues continued to contract in Q2 FY2021, the pace of contraction mellowed down. As per industry estimates, freight volumes reverted back to year-ago levels by the end of Q2 FY2021, and have improved further in the third quarter, with festive-led demand and specific sectors like e-commerce leading the growth. This trend was visible in E-way bill and Fastag data, which reached pre-pandemic levels in September 2020 and posted Y-o-Y growth in October and November 2020.” The rail freight traffic has also reported similar trends, although it was able to improve on its year-ago volume levels within Q2 FY2021 itself. The volumes thereafter have also held up, expanding 12% on the base of the previous year during the third quarter so far. The seaways freight traffic, on the other hand, is yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, with supply-side/infrastructure constraints limiting the volume recovery. Overall, the aggregate revenues of ICRA’s sample of logistics companies recovered sequentially in …

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DB Schenker temporary suspends land transport services from Europe to the UK

DB Schenker has identified significant problems relating to the new customs formalities that now apply to shipments between the European Union and the United Kingdom (UK) as a result of Brexit. Only around 10 per cent of the customs documents submitted for consignments that DB Schenker has been commissioned to ship have been complete and free of errors. Most of the documents are incomplete and/or contain errors. DB Schenker employees who have been specially trained for Brexit are available around the clock to assist customers in completing the required customs documents correctly. Nevertheless, every consignment accompanied by incomplete and/or erroneous customs documents delays the departure of the associated full-load shipment. Consignments that are not properly declared cannot be delivered to their destinations. To effectively manage the increased workload that has resulted from this situation, DB Schenker is mobilizing personnel for the Brexit Task Force that the company established more than a year ago. These employees will be responsible for supporting corrections and producing compliant customs documents. Despite this extra effort, DB Schenker has been forced to put a temporarily hold on the acceptance of new consignments for shipment to the United Kingdom. The company bhas also announced that all consignments that have already been accepted will, as always, be delivered as quickly as possible. DB Schenker expects shipping volumes to increase further in January. The logistics services providers can only process consignments quickly if the share of correct and complete customs documents also increases significantly. Both shipper and consignees need to ensure that compliant documents are provided. With the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, such documents now include a proof of origin, a compliant invoice in conformance with current customs …

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