The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Goa State Office along with the CII Institute of Logistics and Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) on 13th August 2021, Friday organised its 7th Edition of the “Conference on Logistics”.
The 7th CII Goa Conference on Logistics themed ‘Goa: A Future Logistics Hub’ took place on a virtual platform this year and witnessed visionaries, industry leaders and key stakeholders brainstorm and share powerful stories on various sessions. The sessions deliberated on air cargo, road cargo, ocean cargo, and rail cargo development to evolve an integrated logistics roadmap to make Goa a preferred logistics hub.
Setting the ground for the event and giving it a kick start were prestigious guests who addressed the very first session.
Mr. Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa, who was present at the event while addressing the panel, assured the industry that logistics is one of the prime focal points of his government.
“Logistics is a key focus area not just for the Goa government but also for the center. We are working on achieving a comprehensive logistics plan in Goa, and I am confident we will soon be able to meet the goal and bring down the logistics cost-effectively,” he said.
Further addressing the event he also talked about Goa’s strategic location and the innate advantages it brings in terms of connectivity. He said that the state is ideal to be developed into a significant Multi-modal Logistics Hub by augmenting the movement of goods by Air, Sea, River, Road, and Rail, and steps in this regard have already begun.
Speaking along the same lines, Tushar Jani, Chairman, CSC group said that the upcoming airport of Goa will push air cargo, and the developments in the multimodal connectivity will help Goa become the “future logistics hub”.
Shashi Kiran Shetty, Founder and Chairman, Allcargo group speaks about the underlying opportunities of goa.
He says, “It is a dream of every Indian to come to goa due to its beauty. This means it has a great opportunity in terms of attracting business, manufacturing, investments, etc. which will lead to economic growth. If Goa can attract manufacturers, investments in tech and tourism, it can be a vibrant place and logistics will automatically follow”.
While expressing his faith in the growth potential of the state, he also pointed out that the government needs to take initiatives to attract investments and make it a hub. He says, “The government of Goa needs to discuss with the industry on how private players can invest”.
We have invested in a fulfillment center in different cities like Delhi and Bangalore and will be more than happy to do the same in Goa, Shetty added.
As the event proceeded, Mr. Dean Menezes further discussed the investments in the state. He said, “Goa has all the ingredients to become a logistics hub. The new age economy of e-commerce is also growing speedily and e-commerce is going to grow by 5 times in Goa giving a lot of opportunity to the logistics sector to grow from making tech investments to, cold chain infra to setting up fulfillment centers to multimodal connectivity, etc. However, I think it will not be a national but regional logistics hub which will cater to the regional and nearby consumers and their demand”.
Mr. Mahendra Arya, President AITWA putting his strong belief in the state’s potential of becoming a logistics hub says it is possible if the other sector and industry also exhibits growth in the state. He said, “Logistics is a complementary industry to other industries. The industry and business have to grow and this will result in the growth of logistics.”
Speaking at the event Reema Jogani, Director, Reema Transport talked about how she would love to see the roadmap of Goa becoming a hub, owing to the fact it is a state where the company begins its operations.
In her address, she says, “If infra is in place, a lot of things will come in structure and MOPA will enable exporters and bring down the cost, also the completion of NH 117 will help many folds in the overall logistics development in the state”.
Speaking as a true transporter, she also spoke about considering drivers’ safety, education and respect.
When talking about leveraging Air Cargo competitiveness for the state, Ms. Vandana Aggarwal, Former Senior Economic Advisor for the Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “Goa has had the good fortune for years of hosting not just Indian but foreign companies who come year after year as tourists. We have failed to capitalise on their presence and convert that into investments”.
Elaborating on the advantages, she says, “Goa is surrounded by states which are more industrially advanced with a high tradition of Agri produce and service tradition, simply because they are skilled, but that leveraging has not happened. Another advantage is that it is a beautiful port city and is now a two-airport state, where both airports are capable of serving the futuristic needs of the clients and are providing affordable and compatible prices. The state has had multi-modality since the 15th century, lets’ see if we can upscale and leverage now, it’s never too late, she said laughing faintly.
She explains very well that the gap in leveraging the air cargo comes because of the mindset, “Goa did not set itself a target. Even now when discussing the state, the mindset is that of substitution of the Mumbai airport but not a vision.”
The event also deeply discussed the opportunities in the sea sector for the state to which Mr. Rohit Bajaj, MD, and CEO Segal Group of Companies said, “Goa can be the Shipbuilding capital and hub, but there are still many hurdles in financing and availability. Building ships in China and mobilising in India is cheaper for us than building in India. We request the government to extend support and give easy funding to the sector. We would very much like to support Goa in becoming the ship-building capital and we believe Goa can play a vital role in the same.
Furthermore, coastal shipping, feeder services, and hurdles in port development caused due to environmental issues were also discussed to great lengths.
Last but not the least, the panelists brainstormed about rail development in the state and role in facilitating the multimodal logistics.
Joseph E George, General Manager, Strategic Planning & Business Development, Konkan Railway Corporation Limited said,”Konkon Railways passes along the coast because of which the freight traffic has been a challenge from the time that we started. Other than that, the problem we face is that we have a very low density of industry in our area.The Ro-Ro has been the result of this challenge and we look into every opportunity to get the freight traffic.
We have invested INR 1700 crores in the last 4-5 years to improve our capacity primarily for electrification and have added 10 new stations and 8 new local lines, which have been completed. The electrification is expected to be completed by Dec 21. We have already completed 450 kms of electrification and run some trains with electrification.
On the Konkan and southwestern railway Junction, we have already introduced automatic signaling and added some platform and platform line in Madgaon station to improve throughput.
We own many land banks in Goa and we are willing to partner to develop more facilities and help write Goa’s success story as a multimodal logistics hub.
Further, panelists also talk about the terminal developments and enhancing the network for improving Logistics efficiency in Goa which has been ranking low as per the commerce Ministry’s LEAD report for two years.
The power packed event very well put forth the potential and opportunities that the state has to offer to the Industry and covered every aspect that is to be looked upon in making Goa a multi-modal hub.