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Roadblocks to Sustainable Logistics in India’s Auto Industry

India has emerged as a major automotive manufacturing hub. But this massive and complex market presents logistical challenges, especially at a time when there is increasing interest in sustainable logistics solutions. One option: Transport more autos by water—but the nation’s waterway systems are underdeveloped.

By ·

A study carried out by the Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (MISI) and the Indian Institute of Management suggests that the industry can use waterborne transportation to deliver more autos. Strategies such as encouraging more collaboration between stakeholders and targeting investments in water infrastructure could facilitate a shift from road to water modes. There are lessons that other developing countries could learn from the research findings.

Untapped potential

In 2017, roughly 4.6 million passenger and commercial automobiles were produced in India, out of which 3.7 million were sold domestically, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. The domestic industry is scattered across the country, but there are at least three main clusters of activity: One near the capital city of Delhi, another in the southern city of Chennai and a third cluster in the western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

About 95% of the autos produced are delivered through roadways on specially designed trucks, reports the SME Times, with the remaining units delivered through railways as long-distance cargo. Waterway-based logistics solutions are almost non-existent, and there have been few trials of the coastal shipping mode for the transportation of autos.

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By ·

A study carried out by the Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (MISI) and the Indian Institute of Management suggests that the industry can use waterborne transportation to deliver more autos. Strategies such as encouraging more collaboration between stakeholders and targeting investments in water infrastructure could facilitate a shift from road to water modes. There are lessons that other developing countries could learn from the research findings.

Untapped potential

In 2017, roughly 4.6 million passenger and commercial automobiles were produced in India, out of which 3.7 million were sold domestically, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. The domestic industry is scattered across the country, but there are at least three main clusters of activity: One near the capital city of Delhi, another in the southern city of Chennai and a third cluster in the western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

About 95% of the autos produced are delivered through roadways on specially designed trucks, reports the SME Times, with the remaining units delivered through railways as long-distance cargo. Waterway-based logistics solutions are almost non-existent, and there have been few trials of the coastal shipping mode for the transportation of autos.

 


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From the November 2018
The combined forces of a strong economy, e-commerce growth and a tight labor market are making it more important for distribution center (DC) operations to find ways to make their existing infrastructure and people more productive. Software and automation continue to prove to be a vital part of the solution.
Shining a light on the “black box” of transportation
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