'We need single integrated logistics authority'
Transport Corporation of India Ltd claims to be Asia's largest integrated logistics service provider.
Madhu Gupta spoke to Vineet
Agarwal on the growth of the logistics industry. Excerpts:
What is the pressing need of the logistics industry?
There is need for a single integrated logistics authority in the country that manages road, rail, sea and air networks. Improvement in the supply chain is possible with the right focus on areas of competencies by stakeholders.
What factors contribute towards the cost of logistics?
Transportation, warehousing, inventory carrying cost (factory, in-transit/pipeline, storage) and overheads are the broad cost parameters contributing to logistics costs.
Outsourcing to the right supply chain would help any company focus on their core competencies. Identification, management and reduction of inventory at all places are one of the fastest ways to reduce costs. With rising fuel costs it would be difficult to achieve short-term cost reductions in transportation.
What difference do you find in Indian and foreign markets?
One of the main cost differences is the high level of inventory Indian companies carry. This
is also a factor of poor infrastructure as reliability and delivery standards are not
well defined. In certain areas cost structures are lower in India, like manpower. However, it is compensated with low
productivity. Transportation costs are proportionately higher in India because of the infrastructure and structural conditions.
What are the latest innovations?
An integrated supply chain management, lean logistics, GPS, RFID and so on.
Tell us briefly about the group's supply chain solutions.
TCI Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) is a division of the Transport Corporation of India Limited. SCS is one of the fastest growing integrated supply chain solution providers in the country. Backed by the strength of the TCI Group, SCS is focused to provide a single window solution for clients.
TCI Group moves more than 1.5 per cent of India's GDP by value every year and offers a complete range of services, starting from a 50 gm document to a 500 tonne over dimensional cargo, from anywhere to anywhere. SCS has operations spread all over India. The services broadly offered include consulting and solutions development, total transportation management, warehouse management and value-added services.
Does your company offer warehousing facilities?
TCI Group owns and operates over 4.5 million sq. ft. of warehousing space across the country, and SCS has one of the largest warehousing operations in the country.
We design and build warehouses according to clients' supply chain needs.
The warehouses conduct all activities from basic storage, inventory management, transport management to even order processing and sales tax formalities.
Our client base consists of more than 40 customers across all verticals: HLL, Tata Motors, Café Coffee Day, Pricol, Bajaj Auto, ITL, Toyota, among others. SCS is in the process of adding large-scale distribution centres across India
What is your fleet size in marine and road transportation?
Trucks: 800 (owned), 2,000 (vendor), 1,000 (hired daily), Marine: 4 ships (owned), containers: 600 (owned). As per our strength -- integrated supply chain provider, all transportation under a single window: basic trucking, express by road and air, courier, rail, sea, largest trained manpower and infrastructure, highest ethical standards and reliability.
What do you aim for in the near future?
Our client acquisition process is ongoing and we have more than 20 customers in active stages of development. Our goal is to be one of the most admired integrated supply chain service providers in Asia.
[19 December 2005]