“For the ecosystem to flourish, we need to induce transparency to the industry” – Dr. Satyanarayan Chava at the FTCCI event

The Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India organised together the first International Conference on Shipping and Logistics, which was held in Hyderabad on 23rd November. Logistics Insider was the Media Partner for the event. The Conference focused on innovative concepts, models, methods and tools for shipping, air cargo, road & rail transports and warehousing. The confluence of a variety of organisations and professionals was targeted towards amplifying growth prospects, and MSMEs were at the heart of each panel discussion during the event.

The event started with the ceremonial lamp lighting by the Chief Guest Dr. Satyanarayana Chava (CEO, Laurus Labs Limited), along with Mr. Arun Kumar Jain, IES (General Manager, South Central Railways), Capt. Deepak Tewari, Container Shipping Lines Association, Mr. SGK Kishore (Executive Director (South) and Chief Innovation Officer, GMR Airport), Mr. Anil Agarwal, President, FTCCI), Mr. Meela Jayadev, (Senior Vice President, FTCCI), Mr. Kalyana Rama (Chairman and Managing Director, CONCOR) and Mr. Saurabh Kumar, (CEO – GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo and Chair – Shipping and Logistics Committee – FTCCI). Ms. Khyati Naravne (CEO, FTCCI) gave the opening remarks, during which she introduced the audience to FTCCI and the theme of the event.

While addressing the gathering, the event Chief Guest, Dr. Satyanarayan Chava (Founder and CEO, FTCCI), talked about how the pharma logistics in India has evolved over the years and how can the industry leaders take it further. An excerpt from his address:

“You cannot strengthen an entire chain if there is a weak link. We have to clearly help each other and bring in as much transparency as possible. If we talk about shifting import from overseas, there is a need to improve the logistics infrastructure within the country. To ensure success, both the start and end points need to be strengthened for any company, country or region to become a global hub. There is a need for talent and technology in this trade, and the future looks exciting.”

“With the stepping stones laid by the Government of India by announcing the National Logistics Policy, and the state government by announcing the Telangana State Logistics Policy, the FTCCI with support from the Ministry of MSMEs organised this multi-disciplinary conference to share the ideas, concepts, morals and tools for shipping and logistics industry. I believe that the unprecedented attention that the sector has gained over the last few years is because of the realisation that the Indian business and industry have reached the level where they are equally competitive in the production processes, adoption of technology, and skill levels of workforce. The need of the hour is cost competitiveness.”

Mr. Anil Agarwal, President, FTCCI

The Conference comprised of four inquisitive panel discussions, which were based on various facets of Indian shipping and logistics industry, with the underlying intentions in favour of MSMEs. The panels discussed the opportunities present and the roadmap for leveraging them. Sustainability, technology integration, reliability, resilience and collaboration came out as the keywords from each panel during the Conference.

“There is a lot of potential and technology in this region, contributing to air, shipping, rail and road logistics. In the last two years of pandemic, we have gained two decades of experience. WE have virtually survived without resources and people. Learnings from these challenges are going to come handy in the future. In present times, the need for operational and cost excellence is becoming more significant. “

Saurabh Kumar, Chair – Shipping and Logistics Committee – FTCCI

Details of the panel discussions:

Panel 1 – Session on Shipping: Opportunities in landlocked states

Moderator – Ramprasad Ravi, Editor-in-Chief, Maritime Gateway and Future Fuel

Panel Speakers – Capt. Deepak Tiwari (Chairman, Container Shipping Lines Association), Koen Cornilly (Manager, Port Projects, Port of Antwerp-Bruges), Umesh Grover (Secretary General, Container Freight Station Association of India), and Zeeshan R Mukhi (Director, Customer Experience, South Asia, A.P. Moller-Maersk)

“Airlines got together and created a common platform called IATA, but that hasn’t happened in shipping. This is because of very stringent competition laws globally, which don’t allow shipping companies to operate on same platform because background information on freight rates, customers and services is shared via such platforms. The moment you share that, there is a distinct danger of ‘perceived’ cartelization by the authorities – which is one of the biggest drawbacks.”

Capt. Deepak Tiwari

The panel covered intensive discussion around prospects of sea freight activity in landlocked areas like Telangana and Antwerp, role of dry ports in boosting efficiency, shipping lines moving into air freight, transparency in shipping industry, practicing sustainable operations, and higher freight rates, among much more. Another important point discussed was the issue of surplus empty containers globally, and blank sailing.

Panel 2 – Air Cargo & Pharma Logistics:- Strategy To Achieve 10 Mn MT By 2030 (Focus On Cold Chain, Time & Temperature Sensitive Cargo)

Moderator – Mr. Satish Lakkaraju, Global Head – Air Freight & Pharma, WIZ Freight

“The mindset we have is that air freight is expensive, but look at the transit time of ocean freight to the US – it is 40-45 days. Even if you are looking at the short duration, your inventory is lying at a higher risk for that period.”

Panel Speakers – B. Govindarajan (Chief Operating Officer, Tirwin Management Services), Kamal Hingorani (Chief Executive Officer, Spicexpress), Halit Tuncer (Cargo Director South Asia, Turkish Airlines), and Saurabh Kumar (Chief Executive Officer, GMR Cargo)

“ATF is taxed at both Central and State level, ranging from 11% central excise and upto 30% state excise. Average comes out to be around 24%, which is the highest on the planet. We have scanned 180 countries and we couldn’t find higher than this. It is something we have been requesting the government to bring ATF under GST. There is absolutely no logic why air cargo should be continued to be treated as elitist”

Kamal Hingorani

The 2nd panel discussion was focused on air cargo and pharmaceutical logistics. The discussion revolved around creating national air cargo capacity, subsidy on ATF and bringing it under GST regulations, subsidy to logistics ecosystem including warehousing and much more. It also talked about creating supportive logistics infrastructure for perishables in India, and bringing the allied services for pharma logistics under GST.

Panel 3 – Technological Advancements in Logistics: ULP, Blockchain & IoT in Logistics, Drone Delivery

Moderator – Dr. Ravi Prakash Mathur, VP & Global Head of Logistics & Supply Chain Excellence, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

Dr. Mathur ensured that the panel discussions was extremely crisp, while also being highly informative and comprehensive. It was a pleasure watching him steer the discussing to various flag-points of the technology forum, covering almost all the important and pertinent topics related to how technology is set to boost the MSME as well as logistics industry.

Panel Speakers – Murray Smyth (Global CEO, WAISL), Prof. Ramesh Loganathan (Head Research & Innovation Outreach, IIT, Hyderabad), Sid Chakravarthi (Founder and CEO, StaTwig), Suman Kumar Gorla (Delivery Lead-Manufacturing, IT Systems, Stellantis India), Sunil David (Digital Technology Consultant), and Vineeth Malhotra (Director, KALE Logistics)

“NLP is actually a USD 1.2 trillion mega-project consisting of larger GDP and motivates manufacturing from India. Logistics in key for us to be successful in manufacturing, where Sagarmala is in process and other manufacturing initiatives are leading to a successful growth. Piyush Goyal said that the NLP is going to help us reach 10 lakh crore of annual savings – there is obviously lot of activity going around technology integration there.”

Suman Kumar Gorla

The panel discussed the way technology has transformed various facets of the supply chain industry, and will continue to do that in the future. Important points of discussion included the cost and democratisation of technology, how the National Logistics Policy is promoting technology integration, and the partnership between academia and the industry, among other things.

Panel 4 – Integrated Logistics – From Catalyst to Enabler & Last Mile Challenges

Moderator – Mr. Kamal Jain, Director, Cargomen Logistics India

“While moving the cargo from point of production to point of consumption, we use various modes of transportation and various agencies to ensure efficient logistics, which is cost effective and has better turn around time. Last mile challenges need to be taken care of to achieve this.”

Panel Speakers – Akash Bansal (Executive Director, OM Logistics), Alexandre Amine Soufiani, (MD & CEO, FM Logistics India), Mahesh Gupta Vodela (MD, HMDA Truck Dock Logistics), Sushant Shetty (Head of SME Liabilities Institutional Banking Group, DBS Bank India), Sundeep Reddy Gummadi (Director, Zero Mile Warehousing), Venkata Rama Rao Kokali (MD, Shreepa Logistics)

“I’ll not speak about technology, automation or blockchain, but with the basics. The basics are safety, compliance, work conditions of people, and collaborator skill sets and training. We need to develop people to make the entire business sustainable, and delight the customer. We are in service industry and without taking care of our people, they will not take care of end customer. There is also a need to standardise and to bring everything to the heart i.e. the people.”

Alexandre Amine Soufiani

The final panel was themed on integrated logistics and discussed many topics including, but not limited to cost effective transportation, challenges for the last mile sector, evolution of warehousing, handling cold chain cargo, SOPs and standardisation, and MMLPs as a game changer. It also talked about how customer requirements are being addressed by 3PL services providers, which also included the post-GST boost that warehousing industry witnessed.

“There’s a long way to go when it comes to last mile costs for e-commerce operators. In the last 20 years we have optimised our supply chain according to customer expectations around time, cost and safety. Because any inefficiency in delivery model will obviously increase cost for us too.”

Akash Bansal

The event was an extremely successful one and the FTCCI received a lot of appreciation for putting up a vividly informative forum featuring eminent leaders and experts from the industry. The Conference was concluded with the valedictory ceremony, wherein the audience was addressed by Valedictory Chief Guest Mr. D Chandra Sekhar, Additional Development Commissioner (IEDS) MSME-DI, Mr. Iqbal Abdulla Patni, Director, Batco Integrated Logistics Pvt Ltd., Mr. Saurabh Kumar, (CEO, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo and Chair – Shipping and Logistics Committee, FTCCI), Ms. Khyati Naravne (CEO, FTCCI) and Mr. Anil Agarwal (President, FTCCI).

The event was supported by:

Platinum Partners: DBS Bank, SV Multi Logi-Tech Ltd

Gold Parters: Batco Integrated Logistics, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo, WIZ Freight, HMDA-Truck Dock Logistics, ZeroMiles Technologies Services, Shreepa Logistics

Silver Partners: ASR Logistics, Om Logistics Limited, Omni Express, QProducts & Services, Cargomen Logistics

Associate Partners: Hermes Travel And Cargo, Kale Logistics Solutions, SpiceJet Limited, Admiral Hitec Logistics (India), World Trade Center – Shamshabad, Quantra Quartz

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