In recent years, the Indian logistics sector has witnessed robust growth. In fact, it steadied post the onset of COVID-19 — courtesy of the rising retail and manufacturing ecosystem in the country.
The average middle-class consumer is better informed and capable of spending more money on lifestyle needs. If there has been one drawback that constantly challenged this growth, it is the lack of streamlining and modernisation of operations.
However, in 2021, with a rapid and impactful change, the Indian logistics sector was expected to be worth over $300 billion by the end of 2021.
Take a look at the key reasons why the Indian supply chain and logistics ecosystem grew strongly in 2021.
How will these developments shape in 2022?
This year, we saw great investments made in infrastructure development and the enhancement of operational efficiency in the industry. Modern technology-driven integrated logistics platforms and service providers are spearheading the new normal of transportation.
The dilapidated yellow storehouses of the past are now becoming automated IoT-enabled warehouses, saving time and effort and proving to be an enabler of capacity development.
Recently, there has been an unprecedented push towards infrastructure development in the country.
Roads, warehouses, ports and dedicated transport hubs are being planned and built. With greater export volumes and connectivity between manufacturing centres and markets, the logistics volumes are on the way up.
Predominantly, trucking in India is considered a non-tech and manually-run business. The majority of the transport firms are either small or very small units, and most of them own one to five trucks only, directly impacting their ability to streamline and digitise operations.
However, cloud computing has enabled the building of integrated logistics platforms and marketplaces. Tech-driven logistics companies are enabling transporters and shippers to do business online, optimise operations through automated process support, conduct online payments, and document digitally.
Cloud technology also enables safe storage and sharing of data and offers anytime anywhere access to users — factors helping speed up deliveries, revenue generation, and customer satisfaction for various stakeholders.
The role of data analytics
The sector is combining Artificial Intelligence (AI), the (Internet of Things) IoT, and data analytics to improve its performance. Today, the logistic sector can help transport companies monitor each vehicle’s performance to figure out potential areas of improvement on different routes by accessing real-time operational data provided by onboard sensors fitted to trucks.
AI helps in superior vehicle-load matching, enabling faster deployment of the right resources to transport the right cargo, and reducing the effort and time spent for the stakeholders.
Data analytics proves crucial in monitoring performance, maintenance schedules, and accurately assessing an asset’s operational value throughout its lifecycle.
Notably, even minor tech-driven enhancements that can save even an hour of on-road time per trip can lead to incremental savings in fuel consumption and wages, bringing the operational costs down.
Thanks to the awareness campaigns and initiatives, including ‘Digital India’, about 93 percent of logistics and related companies have either adopted digital tech in operations or are in the process to do so.
As per the recent announcement on National Logistics Policy, the Government of India has displayed its intention to back the sector, bring down the cost of logistics to single digits, and enable it to become globally competitive.
Ecommerce and online D2C retail are ensuring a rapid increase in customer base and consumption. Startups and SMEs are entering the retail and manufacturing sectors at a greater speed.
As we saw in 2021, infrastructure building is a core focus area, and barring the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, the development of new projects and facilities is going to be expedited in the years ahead.
While the potential for improvement and tapping of resources is humongous, the initiatives and developments in the Indian logistics sector are indicative of an across-the-board commitment to growth.
There is no doubt the potential will be converted into results, and India will become one of the leading global logistics powerhouses in the years to come.
Edited by Suman Singh
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)