Indian Freight Should be Strengthened to Avert Potential Truckers Strike!

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Indian Freight
  • The pandemic-induced restrictions and the ongoing conflict between Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas have opened the eyes of the global leadership about how crucial it is to maintain uninterrupted supply chains, especially concerning day-to-day edible commodities, fuel, and critical medical equipment/medicines. Mind you, modern-day governments must grapple with the potential strikes from the trucker’s lobby because could be rational or otherwise. The need of the hour is to ensure the global community is guarded against supply-related challenges that would also severely jeopardize economic activities. We all know how challenging it was during the pandemic to navigate and stay afloat to ensure humanity survives.

Truck strike

PC: RoadCast

  • As you are aware, every country has unique challenges vis-à-vis ensuring supply chains are not disrupted on one or the other grounds. In the context of the Indian scenario, the reliance on truckers to undertake the supply of critical commodities needs no further elaboration. However, any call given by the truckers’ lobby for strikes always highlights the fragility of even short-run supply routes, such as between Gujarat and Maharashtra. Indeed, the precarity of supply chains is getting increasingly vulnerable to disruption and getting costlier as well. What’s obvious is that no matter how much trade ties, automation, and AI-assisted logistics smoothen the flow of goods, the uncertainty of geopolitics can upset the Apple truck, literally and metaphorically.
  • Note that the Indian railways almost enjoy a ubiquitous presence across the length and breadth of the country. This particular mode of transportation for the freight should be put to good use to negate the challenges coming up in the form of truckers’ strikes. Consider this scenario. Globalization’s long-ensured interlinked supply chains: raw material to finished products crisscrossing the world by land, air, and sea. It is impossible and undesirable to undo this interweave, despite nationalists’ nudge in several countries towards supply chain and sourcing sovereignty post-Covid. Wanting to be self-sufficient is great, but most modern economies are designed to be part of a connected world, empowered further by the always-on digital connection.

GatiShakti

PC: FR8

  • The tiniest flutter in sharply defined critical supply chains has a ripple effect till end-users. Taken to scale, this can be hugely disruptive. As such, strengthening supply chain logistics becomes imperative. This is where incorporating AI into their processes comes in handy. Driver shortage is the biggest challenge world over for road freight. R&D in automated trucks must be a priority. Thus, India should move quickly to increase the ratio of rail freight, stuck at 27%, moving just 11 commodities. It’s the only railways section turning a profit. The concept of dedicated freight corridors is decades old. Barring point-to-point deliveries, rail capacity, fuel efficiency, and green quotient are superior to road freight. Here, GatiShakti, a one-stop logistics national plan, should be prioritized.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.