Cement transport thorough waterways, especially via sea routes, is highly economical for companies located near coastal areas. Capt. Ashok Shrivastava, CEO (Shipping Business), M/s Allcargo Logistics gives his perspective on how logistics via waterway will benefit the cement industry than railway mode… and many more. Excerpts from the interview…
What is the range of services offered by you?
We at Allcargo provide cargo movements around the Indian coastline and nearby coastal countries. Some of the prominent routes we have done for cement industry are Gujarat to Mumbai, Gujarat to Srilanka and Andhra Pradesh to Srilanka.
Should cement companies outsource logistics functions?
By outsourcing the logistics functions, the cement companies can focus more on manufacturing, i.e., on the final output. With the renewed focus the key competencies of production, cement companies will reach their markets at a more efficient pace by outsourcing the movement of the product through professional logistics service providers and especially leveraging the most efficient mode of transporting cement, i.e., through coastal shipping.
How has the market scenario changed with time?
It has been four years since we are working in this sector and the market scenario has improved at a faster pace. With increasing economic traction across our GDP, not only will coastal shipping will be a game changer for the cement industry, but will also take a major share in overall India´s logistics and supply chain space.
What are the preferred modes of transportation, and why?
At present across India coastal shipping is still the most preferred mode of cement transportation with rail being the second most opted mode. Coastal shipping vessels carry huge volumes of load and the transportation is much faster and economical compared to rail as well as road transport routes, which are comparatively congested.
What is your opinion on using river routes for transport?
River routes can be used to tap those companies who are away from the coastline in other words they lie in hinterland. Coastal and inland waterways synergy can be explored on a large scale. Efforts are done on National Waterway 1 and 2 and there is continuous movement of coal through National Waterway 1 (Kolkata-Allahabad).
How can one ensure that goods move without delays?
I think the responsibility lies with all stakeholders of the trade, but every entity can do its best to make sure the proper documentation of the cargo is in place, timely delivery of the cargo to the logistics provider for transportation is made. Also, working in a coherent and cohesive way and through a continuous channel of communication can add tremendous value in terms movement of cement across India´s hinterland.
What are your estimates about the growth of this sector?
We are just witnessing the tip of the iceberg in terms of growth of the sector. With India´s focus on manufacturing, infrastructure, making India the global trade hub, this sector will be directly proportional to our GDP growth rate in years to come.