FTCCI Conducts Second Edition Of International Conference On Shipping & Logistics

Organised by FTCCI at the Novotel HICC, the event saw a huge footfall by stakeholders across the shipping and logistics sector. Delivering the welcome address Mr. Meela Jayadev, President, FTCCI, thanked the Ministry of MSME for their support, as he described shipping and logistics as the backbone of the state and critical in making it into a logistics hub.

Delivering the theme address, Kamal Jain, Chair, Shipping & Logistics Committee, FTCCI said, generally states close to the coast and having seaports are expected to have better economy and attract investment, but Telangana in spite of being landlocked has emerged into a pharma hub, which indicates the hunger for growth among the state’s people. He expected all the attendees will have crucial takeaways from the event.

Guest of Honour, Sanjay Swarup, IRTS, CMD, CONCOR, described logistics to be as old as the dawn of civilisations, because human beings invented the wheel as the first object of convenience. Logistics means speed and today it is the sunrise sector. The World Bank has put a value of $380 million to the Indian logistics sector and CONCOR has been instrumental in bringing down the logistics cost in the state. The logistics major, started with seven ICDs and today has presence in 65 locations. The ICD at Sanathnagar is the oldest (about 3 decades old) and the ICD at Nagulapally are serving the local cargo in the state.

The timetabled freight trains and network of MMLPs by CONCOR have been instrumental in moving the trade across the country. CONCOR has introduced container tracking, logistics app for first & last-mile connectivity, AI based terminal management system at Tughlakabad ICD. CONCOR is going for green logistics by using LNG as its fuel. It has plans for introducing electric vehicles for inter terminal movement.                    

Pradeep Panicker, CEO, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, described air cargo as key to the growth of landlocked state. Sharing some facts he said, Air cargo accounts for just 2% of global trade by volume, but it is 40% by value. Developing of several international cities like Dubai and Singapore has been linked to their aviation sector development. He detailed on the pharma zones being developed at the airport which has moved around 115 thousand tonnes of cargo by volume this year. He invited the EXIM community in the state to explore the air cargo potential as the cargo terminal capacity has increased to one lakh tonnes, offering cost efficiency across products in the logistics chain.

Dr. Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, IFS, Special Secretary (Investment Promotion & External Engagement) Vice Chairman & MD, TSIIC, Govt. of Telangana, underscored the contribution of FTCCI in the development of the state. Taking a look at the global geopolitical scenario he said, new centres of power are emerging depending on who controls the trade. Technology, sustainable shipping and climate change are the major factors impacting the global trade. Government of India is focusing on bringing down the logistics cost to single digit with National Logistics Policy, ULIP and Sagarmala. Telangana got its first dry port near the Northern corridor and 2-3 more dry ports are being developed at Zaheerabad.

The first plenary session of the day titled Changing landscape of logistics discussed the changing cargo profile of the states and ports across the country, the impact of black swan events, developments in the northeast and muchmore. Moderator of the session, Ramprasad, Editor-in-Chief, Maritime Gateway, set the discussion into context by sharing some vital facts. He said, India has jumped from 8th position to 5th position globally and is poised to be the third largest economy by 2027. In the past decade, the country has posted a GDP growth of 7%. Indian economy has grown from $317.26 billion to $484.3 billion in 2024. Resilience of global supply chains is being tested once again by the current ongoing wars, closure of waterways and policy changes.

Detailing on the changing cargo profile, Shantanu Bhadkamkar, MD, ATC Global Logistics Pvt Ltd said, 25 years back all the cargo in India was Mumbai centric as road and rail logistics was around Mumbai. Even the north-south traffic moved around the state. But today, Mundra has emerged as the biggest port in the country, while Kandla is moving the largest breakbulk cargo. Delhi has overtaken Mumbai in terms of cargo profile. Profile of cargo is also chainging – India was earlier a major importer of metal and metal products, but it is now a major exporter of these commodities. The same is the scenario in food grains. Indian oil exports are rising sharply due to huge refining capacity being developed along with shorter delivery time. Through the Act East Policy, India is today moving beyond Myanmar to connect with Thailand and Cambodia.

K Sathianathan, Director, National Highways Logistics Management Ltd, detailed on the MMLPs being developed by NHLML, which are very different to those being developed by CONCOR.CONCOR uses its own trains and those of Indian Railways for moving cargo, but at MMLPs being developed by NHLML, land is provided by the state government, NHAI provides the road connectivity, while NHLML provides the rail connectivity. NHLML is offering plug&play facilities at its MMLPs. All terminals are being developed in a sustainable manner to reduce logistics cost. He opined for moving terminals outside cities for decongesting city roads.

Ms. G Gayatri, IRTS, Group General Manager (Area Head III – South) CONCOR, detailed on the infrastructure operated by CONCOR, which has more than 65 terminals. New MMLPs are being developed at Kadakola and Jajpur. All terminals provide single window service with end-to-end connectivity. Palletisation and lashing services are also being offered. Warehouses are being set up at Vizag and Raipur. Total warehousing footprint of CONCOR across the country is about 4 million sq.ft. 100 LNG based trucks have been procured which have moved 2100 containers so far.

Girish Kumar Surpur, CEO & Director, NLDS detailed on the digital infrastructure which is enabling ease of doing business. He pointed at the services offered by ULIP which was started at COVID times when digitisation push was at its peak. The platform brings together multiple single window portals of different ministries. It acts as an overarching layer for these portals for extracting information. ULIP has integrated with 36 state governments and 27 crore transactions have been performed so far. Be it track and trace services for containers, checking the credentials of truck drivers or maintenance of trucks documents, insurance, etc, dwell time at ports, ULIP provides all the details in seconds.

N. Krishna Kumar, Senior Vice President (South), MSC India Pvt Ltd, opined being landlocked is not an impediment for Telangana as it has multiple port options.MSC has been continuously building capacity by adding tonnage.Today the shipping major has 720 container ships and three million containers, it operates with more than 30 offices across India offering one stop shop for all customers.

Priyanka Lathia, Head of strategy & projects, Maersk – South Asia, detailed on the Red Sea crisis and vessels moving through the Cape of Good Hope just to maintain consistency and predictability in service. Fast adoption of technology has been essential for building resilience in supply chains. Maersk provides visibility to customers across the supply chain, which is essential for controlling cost and cash flows.  The Gemini Cooperation will come into effect in 2025 and will offer 95% reliability while around 26 services will be impacted.

Jasjit Sethi, Chief Strategy Officer, TCI Group said, B2C logistics scenario in the country is changing. Shipping lines are moving into the hinterland for providing last mile connectivity. Having a strong IT backbone is very important for robust logistics operations, as it helps in analysing data for what is happening, why it is happening and how it is happening? Chatbots can be used to analyse social media to make sense of current customer trends. Data has been democratised by technology and APIs are helping in connecting different platforms. More startups have been observed in the technology domains. Going forward, analysing big data will be the mega trend.

He further added that last mile delivery cost in India is still very high and so is the energy cost for cold chain, which is still a fragmented sector.

The next session: Managing supply chains in a disrupted geopolitical environment, discussed the Red Sea crisis, as this particular route has been very crucial for India. 25% of global trade moves via the Red Sea and the crisis is causing essential cargo to migrate from sea to air. Movement via Cape of Good Hope is adding 20days lead time for shipping stretching the available tonnage, while creating capital availability issues for the trade community. Air freight rates have gone up three times per KG due to the crisis. Similar has been the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, which has increased the cost of edible oil import into India.

The panellists in the session were Dr. Ravi Prakash Mathur, Vice President, Supply Chain Management, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (Moderator). Mr. Atul Kulkarni, Former Advisor (International Projects), Indian Ports Association; Capt. Vivek S Anand, Founder & Chairman, CVSA & Associates; Saurabh Kumar, CEO, kaleesuwari Group; Ravikanth Yamarthy, CEO, Logistics Sector Skill Council and Kishore Arumilli, Vice President of Engineering, Technology and Solutions, ATAI.    

The session Navigating future: Embracing opportunities discussed 3PL, growing demand for air cargo due to current geopolitical challenges and infrastructure development in India in terms of logistics parks. Today, 3PL is the largest space occupier in India and globally. Companies operating in this domain are core experts in warehousing and logistics. Of the total commercial space occupied last year in India, 37% was by 3PL service providers. The demand for 3PL is driven by e-commerce.

Another concern in India is the small size of logistics parks, due to the issues associated with land pooling. Globally in Africa and Dubai the logistics parks are much bigger in size and this aspect effects the logistics cost as well.

Coming to the Red Sea crisis, the panellists opined that demand for air cargo has increased to the extent that exporters are not able to find space. The Hyderabad airport is taking initiatives to attract regional cargo by spreading awareness and stopping regional cargo from using distant ports. Going forward, collaboration among airlines will be essential to serve the customers better. If more sea cargo migrates to air, then it may cause severe capacity constraints.

Panellists in the session included Satish Lakkaraju, Senior Vice President, WIZ (moderator); S Burak Omeroglu, Vice President, Cargo Sales, Middle East & South Asia, Turkish Airlines; Prasad Gengusetti, COO, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo; Murray Smith, Managing Partner – Transport & Technology Consulting; Ramraja Acharya, Chairman, Public Freight Pvt Ltd; Yogesh Shevade, Head – Logistics & Industrial, JLL India.

The Final session of the day: Facilitating trade through infrastructure development, focused on the correlation between transport infrastructure and development in any particular area. The significance of storage infrastructure and connectivity through expressways. The need for looking at logistics as a sector in itself and the sea change in the logistics sector of India in the past decade. Panellists of the session included Vineet Suman Darda, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Darda Advisors LLP (Moderator); Mahesh Kumar Gupta Vodela, MD, HMDA Truck Dock Logistics Pvt Ltd; Aparna Bhumi, Director Logistics, Dept. of Industries & Commerce, Govt. of Telangana and Satish Lakkaraju, Senior Vice President, WIZ.

Source: Maritime Gateway

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