Category Archives: Technology

FreightBro and JOC organise India Logistics Technology Summit

FreightBro, associated with the Journal of Commerce, hosted their first India Logistics Technology Summit at the Centre of Incubation and Business Acceleration, Navi Mumbai. The summit witnessed sessions on how software can make key ocean freight processes and capabilities more efficient and less costly, potentially positioning India as the key growth market for world trade in the coming years. The panel discussion brought up interesting conversations and observations; plug and play software start-ups offer a layer of flexibility and standardisation to the freight-forwarding community, the technology platforms act as salespersons reducing customer acquisition costs and older players are opening up to technology once they realize that it is enabling them in all possible ways.

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Rivigo launches RaaS to benefit fleet owners and truck pilots in India

With a launch of Relay-as-a-Service (RaaS), the company aims to bring benefits of its disruptive relay trucking model to millions of fleet owners and truck pilots in India. RaaS will be offered to fleet owners using its technology, pilots and countrywide network of relay pit-stops. Relay Trucking is an operating model where drivers change over after every few hundred kilometers of driving through a network of relay pit-stops and then get rostered back to their home base to return to their families every single day. Gazal Kalra, Co-founder, Rivigo, said, “With RaaS, we aim to offer the benefits of relay trucking to millions of fleet owners in India and bring in efficiencies in the logistics industry while directly addressing one the biggest challenges of chronic truck driver shortage. In addition to the relay network, technology and pilots, we will be making our fuel, maintenance, cashless payment solutions also available to fleet owners in the country through RaaS. Rivigo’s mission is to make logistics in India humane, more efficient and offer better service. Offering RaaS to fleet owners in the country is a significant step in that direction.” Ramratan Singhi, Owner, Sure Cargo Logistics, a fleet of 70 Bharat Benz trucks and who has signed up for the RaaS program, said, “RaaS model helps make trucking efficient. We achieved 25-30 per cent extra running per month per truck through RaaS, compared to using our resources. Hub-hub TAT was excellent, and the use of tech in all aspects of operations (fuel, maintenance) is helping us see the areas of concern in our trucks. It frees our management time and resources on getting more business while our trucks are operated by RIVIGO Relay …

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Cogoport extends reefer shipping service for Indian exporters & importers

Cogoport has extended its services to reefer shipping for Indian perishables exporters and importers. India’s perishables trades have seen double-digit growth in recent years and Cogoport said refrigerated exports from the country grew by 27 per cent last year. At the same time, refrigerated imports from markets including Germany, South Korea and Russia are also on the rise, driven by demand from India’s growing middle class. Purnendu Shekhar, Founder & Chief Executive of Cogoport, said, “We are now able to pass on the benefits of Cogoport digital shipping to customers who move refrigerated goods, typically SMEs moving seafood, fruit and vegetables, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.” “Customers using our platform confirm they save 10-15 per cent on their logistics costs, including as many as 40-man hours per shipment, and we are delighted to now extend those efficiencies to refrigerated cargo,” he adds.

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Budget prepares the roadmap for a new India based on inclusive growth: FIEO

Commenting on the Union Budget, Sharad Kumar Saraf, President, FIEO said, “The budget addresses some of the basic challenges faced by manufacturing as well as exports including flow of credit, infrastructure bottlenecks, labour laws, skilling, etc. The export credit declined by 22 per cent as on December 31, 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Rs.70,000 crore allocated to PSU banks will ease the flow of credit. The interest subvention of 2 per cent given to MSME as well as payment platform for bill filing for MSME will help in flow of credit at competitive cost. The investment of Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure in next five years through Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Jal Marg Vikas Project will help in improving logistics, reducing transportation cost and increasing competitiveness.” “The PMMSY for the robust fisheries management framework will give a push to marine exports from the country in which India has emerged as the largest exporter though huge untapped potential still exists. The support given to GI products and artisans to showcase in global markets will provide much needed exposure to them paving the way for further exports. Focus on clusters in bamboo, honey and khadi will not only create huge employment opportunity but will also give a push to their exports,” he adds.

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It is a budget with a 10-year vision and a 5-year target: ACAAI

TA Varghese, President, ACAAI, believes, “Liberalisation of FDI in aviation will facilitate the growth of this capital-intensive industry.” He continues, “Boost has been given to India Inc. in the budget. The plan to utilise Rs 70,000 crore for the recapitalisation of banks is likely to ease the credit crunch for business and industry. The proposal to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure projects in the next five years and the plan to construct 1.25 lakh kilometres of rural roads will boost the movement of goods pan India. The Union Budget 2019-20 is a budget with a 10-year vision and a 5-year target.” The proposed-investment in infrastructure and digital economy as well as job creation in small and medium firms may generate much-needed jobs in these sectors. The first step towards achieving the objective of powering India to a $ 5 trillion economy by 2024 have been taken in this budget. Overall, this budget has sought to balance the needs of both ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’. It projects a ‘new India’ roadmap by placing great emphasis on uplifting rural India through various measures while also addressing the needs of urban India. The planned provision of access to electricity for every rural household by 2022, clean water to all rural households by 2024 and 1.9 crore houses to citizens in the next two years are steps in the right direction.

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Budget aims at reducing logistics cost with focus on multimodal: FFFAI

Believing the Budget 2019-20 as an ongoing task reiterating the commitments that the NDA Government has set in its vision document, S Ramakrishna, Chairman, FFFAI, says, “It is commendable the new Finance Minister presented a pragmatic Budget aiming to reach the US$ 5 trillion economy in the next few years, with required emphasis and focus on infrastructure, multimodal connectivity and logistics operation. Significantly, the government has decided to create and promote inland waterways and allied infrastructure to reduce logistics cost and boost greener environment.” It is heartening to note that after recently launched multimodal terminal at Varanasi, more similar terminals will be completed at Sahibganj and Haldia and a navigational lock will be created at Farakka by 2019-20 FY. We will be expecting more such terminals in North East India as well, like strengthening the existing terminal in Pandu (Guwahati) and new one in Jogighopa which is very strategic region from foreign trade’s perspective utilizing effective multimodal connectivity with special thrush on waterways. It would be very crucial to expedite international cargo movement to Bangladesh and beyond. Also, it is commendable the Finance Minister emphasized on resolving all litigations on fast track basis to facilitate trade and commerce. Commenting on the focus given by government to MSMEs, Ramakrishna, says, “Since predominantly we are from MSME sector, this funding would be a great boost for us.”

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River and national highway network in focus in Union Budget 2019-20

“India is set to become a $3 trillion economy this year and it is well within its capacity to reach the $5 trillion economy by 2024,” says Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister, Government of India, while presenting the annual Budget. The Budget says that the government will examine steps to hike FDI cap in aviation. Government envisions using river for cargo transportation which will also decongest roads and railways. “The movement of cargo on Ganga is estimated to rise four times in four years,” informs Sitharaman. GST processes will also get simplified further. The government has given massive push for physical infrastructure too. 125,000 km of road to be upgraded over next five years at a cost of Rs 802.5 billion. To ensure the creation of National Highways Grid of desirable capacity, comprehensive restructuring of National Highways Programme will be done. Railway infrastructure would need an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore between 2018 and 2030; PPP to be used to unleash faster development and delivery of passenger freight services, says Finance Minister. “Will simplify procedures, reduce red tape, make best use of tech,” says Sitharaman, in adding, “Building social infrastructure, digital India, Pollution-free India and Make in India are government vision.”

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SA Consultants launches Logycode for simpler airfreight purchases

SA Consultants & Forwarders has launched Logycode, an e-commerce start-up to make the cost-effective match between exporters and importers on the one hand and air freight carriers on the other. The idea behind the initiative is to create an e-marketplace where customers can shop and ship easily and grow their business efficiently. The platform plans to change the traditional way the customer reaches out for his logistics needs. One of the key objectives is to create a platform that provides the airfreight purchasing industry with real-time instant rates for its buyers. Ashish Asaf, MD & CEO, SA Consultants & Forwarders, says, “The idea is to encourage our industry by simplifying businesses. The present situation is that people are investing a lot of time and money. Our goal is to digitise the industry and simplify processes. This is our value-add to our customers who are doing business with us. Through this platform, we are giving the tools in our customers hand so that they can work faster.”

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Maersk extends their end-to-end logistics offerings

By delivering it’s first-ever shipment of butter from Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh (part of the Delhi National Capital Region) to Turkey, Maersk has opened a niche cargo category encouraging the shipping of an array of commodities within the reefer segment. Butter exporter VRS Foods exported an initial six containers of their brand, Paras Dairy Butter, through Maersk’s First Mile Delivery reefer service which helps businesses with intermodal, customs clearance, and documentation needs to enable seamless trade. This. Commenting on this end to end delivery story, Steve Felder, Managing Director, Maersk South Asia, states, “We believe that India’s trade growth lies in our hinterlands. Most of the small and medium enterprises and traders who engage in trade with this segment often face connectivity and infrastructural challenges limiting their scope for growth. Limited cold-chain infrastructure is one of the prominent factors that lead to the loss of produce. Through our endeavour with Paras Dairy and VRS Foods, our assurance was to provide them with an efficient logistics partner, and in doing so, we can now look to win the confidence of other exporters, given that we can successfully handle end-to-end logistics of refrigerated cargo for all proof of delivery.”

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Hilti and FarEye set to provide Amazon-like experience to customers

Hilti has tied up with FarEye to gain real-time visibility of goods movement, predictability with actionable insights, and build a digital integrated ecosystem with third-party vendors. Working with various 3PL partners across the country, a major pain area for Hilti was to manage these partners, map them against each other, track individual shipments, and keep the customers informed on the status along with actionable insights. Additionally, manual processes and lack of proper communication between transporters and logistics managers resulted in manpower wastage and high wait time at warehouses for loading and unloading of products.

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