New Delhi: After the launch of the government e-marketplace (GeM), the centre is trying to replicate its success at a much larger scale by bringing together all logistics players on one platform through a national logistics e-marketplace for better price discovery and reducing logistics cost.
The test run for the online logistics marketplace is likely to begin by March 2019.
“The detailed project report has been approved by a committee of secretaries. Consultancy firm KPMG has been assigned to submit the “request for proposal" document by October this year, after which vendors will be selected for developing various components of the logistics e-marketplace which will be like the Amazon of logistics services", said Keshav Chandra, joint secretary-logistics at the commerce department.
The portal will allow exporters to bid for cheapest transport services for overseas shipments, avail online certification from 81 regulatory bodies, make online payments and track his consignment on a real-time basis.
In India, logistics sector comprises 14% of gross domestic product (GDP), much higher than in the US or Europe at 8-9%, according to McKinsey research.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his 2018-19 budget speech had said that the “department of commerce will be developing a national logistics portal as a single-window online market place to link all stakeholders".
In November, the government granted infrastructure status to the logistics sector, enabling the industry to access cheap finance. It had also created the post of a special secretary in the commerce ministry to exclusively handle logistics, and had appointed former director general of the directorate general of supplies and disposals, Binoy Kumar, to the post.
In 2017, India’s logistics performance improved from 54 to 35 under World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI). The government expects the sector to grow to $360 billion by 2032 from the current $115 billion.
In the first ever Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index released in January, Gujarat topped the index followed by Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. The report was based on stakeholders’ survey conducted by Deloitte for the ministry of commerce and industry.