Maharashtra continues to shine as the Logistics and Warehousing Capital of India

Maharashtra Logistics

With recent investments made towards a multi-modal logistics and warehousing infrastructure, Maharashtra has cemented its position as an emerging Logistics hub. With a strategic location and a preferred site for logistics operations, we look at what makes the state of Maharashtra a focal point for the nation’s logistics and supply chain operations.

Bubbling with ethnic richness and flanked by its premier location, the state of Maharastra, the biggest economy within India, is bestowed with the best of nature, culture and industry. Due to its strategic location in occupying a huge part of peninsular India, it is the hub of trade and commerce due to its enhanced connectivity owing to the presence of two major ports- the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and the Mumbai Port.

For Maharashtra, its fate as an emerging logistics hub has been sealed in ink with the recent developments and initiatives taken by the Government.

While healthcare systems are operating round the clock to meet the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic, the state of Maharashtra’s economic response has remained resilient to counter long term impacts. Backed by the state’s performance across elements of Foreign Direct Investment, competitiveness, export, industrial ecosystem and ease of doing business, companies that are looking to enhance and diversify their supply chains across South East Asia have looked at Maharashtra as their new investment destination.

Magnetic Maharashtra

The first “Magnetic Maharashtra Convergence” was a summit held in Mumbai in February 2018 that was aimed at attracting investments worth 10 lakh crore rupees into the economy of Maharashtra.

Under the “Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0” initiative this year, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray tried to revive the economy in post-COVID-19 times, as part of the State government’s ‘Mission Begin Again’ which was the first major government event promoting the industrial development of the State, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an attempt to spur the economy and promote multi-modal connectivity, the Maharashtra government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 12 companies to attract investments worth 16k Cr* (temporarily stalled due to border issues*). The companies operate in sectors such as oil, chemical manufacturing, automotives and electric mobility and logistics tech.

Major warehousing clusters in Maharashtra

Bhiwandi warehouse cluster:

“Bhiwandi, situated on the outskirts of Mumbai, is the largest warehousing location in Maharashtra and is located along the Mumbai-Nashik highway giving distributors easy access to both Mumbai and Pune. It is also near the Maharashtra – Gujarat border. In the past few years, Bhiwandi has emerged as a major warehousing hub for companies such as Amazon, Samsung, BMW, and Flipkart.

The warehousing space in Bhiwandi is primarily being taken up to serve consumer demand. Availability of affordable land, labour and the existing textile manufacturing cluster were the factors that contributed to the development of a warehousing ecosystem in Bhiwandi”, shares Mr Raju.

Panvel warehouse cluster:

The Panvel warehouse cluster on account of its proximity to JNPT has emerged as a suitable warehouse hub for EXIM cargo that is mainly inbound. Besides connectivity through the national highway network, availability of affordable land and development of the Container Freight Station (CFS) have assisted the development of warehouses in Panvel

Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA):

The undeveloped region around the airport is to be developed under the ‘Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area’ (NAINA), which would be spread over 500 sq km.

Huge residential, commercial, educational, entertainment, trading, cargo, port and industrial activity hubs would be developed in this region that would create a new city in itself right outside Mumbai. This would drive demand for warehousing space in the upcoming years.

Delhi Mumbai Expressway: What lies ahead?

Steady progress is being made on the INR 1-trillion Delhi-Mumbai Expressway project (1,261 km). The eight-lane expressway, being constructed under the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) route is deemed to reduce the distance between the two cities by over 150 km and cut travel time to 13 hours from 24 hours now.

Heavy congestion on the Delhi-Mumbai National Corridor along NH-48 of the Golden Quadrilateral led to the project being inititiated, which is now expected to be completed by 2023-24.

“The Delhi Mumbai expressway will speed up the movement of cargo between all points connected to the route. Additionally, with the implementation of GST and the movement of cargo under the E-Way bill, the number of checkpoints has virtually disappeared. With these factors and ease of transport and improved roads, it will also benefit the environment and the cost of transportation thereby benefitting the ultimate consumer.”

~Hemant Bhatia, Director, Tulsidas Khimji Pvt Ltd

“The main drivers of demand for warehousing space in Mumbai have been classified as manufacturing led demand and consumption- led demand. While the manufacturing industry faces a challenge as manufacturing activities have been shifting to nearby cities like Pune, warehousing activities have flourished on account of large consumption base and port driven Export-Import (EXIM) cargo movement.”

~V Raju, Senior Vice President – CL -Chemical, Pharma & Food Sector, Avvashya CCI

Thorns on the way to becoming a global logistics hub

Although Maharashtra is replete with immense potential to prove itself as a hub for global logistics, there are many challenges that still lie on its way.

Reverse Logistics

Without an efficient reverse logistics platform, you can turn off customers and prevent them from ever buying from you again. However, a reverse logistics strategy can be challenging and costly, without the right support. They can help you process returns in a timely manner to satisfy your customers, and can help you decide what to do with returned items to prevent revenue loss. These solutions may include repackaging unused items for resale or refurbishing items to sell at a discounted price.

Inventory Control and Visibility

Knowing what inventory you have on hand, and where it is located at any moment are the primary aspects of inventory visibility. This aspect is critical to every e-commerce and retail business, but gaining this visibility and control can be challenging. Good technology can help you make more efficient use of your time, improve predictability of inventory movement, increase security and quality control, and more.

This is an abridged version of the original story that appeared in the August issue of the Logistics Insider magazine. Click here to read the complete and unedited story.

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