The inland waterways transportation sector will be a success if there is agglomeration or aggregation in the logistics sector for providing end-to-end solutions for goods” producers and industries, Director General of Shipping Amitabh Kumar said on Friday.
Speaking at an event organised by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Assocham, Kumar said goods have to go beyond the inland waterways if they have to reach the desired destination.
“IWAI has a vision of having multimodal logistics park along with the inland ports… which will help realise the potential that actually exists. But inland has its own limitation. We have to start thinking in terms of providing end to end solution,” he said.
Kumar further said inland and coastal, as well as inland and foreign linkages need to be established.
“What we lack in India is a good agglomeration service for the small produce we have. The pattern of the produce will not change. In fact, it will get smaller when it comes to agriculture unless there is agglomeration of land. In terms of industries, there might be a shift. So there is a huge requirement for having agglomerators in the logistic sector,” he said.
Citing the example of agglomeration of seats in private buses across the country, Kumar said, “If every seat can be agglomerated and centralised and a central logistics theme can work out for them, then there is no reason why the produce of different farmers or industries cannot be agglomerated and brought in the logistic chain and be made viable for ships to ply.”
He, however, noted that this will require a lot of marketing.
“The shipping industry is not known to be engaged in marketing. We will have to first see if they have the potential for marketing. If not, then we will have to have a set up or an organisation which can do marketing for this logistics requirement,” Kumar added.
He added the proposed amendments to the Multimodal Transportation of Goods Act 1993, aiming to provide regulation of multimodal transportation of goods for import, export or domestic trade in India, are likely to come up in the monsoon session of parliament.
Currently, the regulation only pertains to exports and does not deal with imports or domestic transportation of goods.
“We have framed a draft regulation bill which has been transferred to the department of logistics which takes care of domestic multimodal transport as well as for EXIM trade. Once a proper enactment comes in place where a single document transportation can be made on multimodal model, it will give impetus to industry to start providing end to end solution for our industries and producers,” Kumar added.