Pare cost by 5%, go digital in documentation, Logistics Secy urges sector

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Logistics Secretary Pawan Kumar today said the logistics industry should look at reducing costs by five per cent and urged it to adopt digital solutions to address inefficiencies and reduce documentation process. According to him nearly 30 per cent of documents are redundant and one third get submitted more than once.

Speaking at a webinar on EXIM Trade in New Normal, organised by The Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), Kumar said the general debate is logistics cost in India is as high as 13 per cent compared with the global average of just eight per cent. However, a recent report by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), a non-profit think tank, stated logistics cost in India is around 8.1 per cent.

“We should not give too much importance to figures. Rather than focussing on numbers we should look at addressing inefficiencies in the system. There is a lot of scope to improve,” said Kumar. The focus should be on reducing the logistics cost by five per cent from the current eight per cent.

He said ADB recently did a study on JNPT and Vizag ports and found that in port operations anything between 80 and 145 documents are sought, of which nearly 30 per cent are redundant and a third get filed more than once.

He suggested a uniform port documentation model that can be customised by each port according to their local requirements.

The Secretary also said National Logistics Portal will be ready in the next 6-8 months, in the meantime they are thinking of rolling something, which can be integrated when the Portal is ready.

It may be noted, in 2018, during the Budget Speech Finance Minister had announced that the Department of Commerce will create a portal, which will link all the stakeholders of EXIM, domestic trade and movement and all trade activities on a single platform.

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