Â Rajeev Mittal, Director of SRCâ€“the company that has seen four decades of transport and logistics, shares his views on this ever-changing industry.
Q- TransREporter: Tell us something about your company.
A- Rajeev Mittal: SRC, formerly known as Suraj Roadways Corporation Pvt. Ltd., was founded by my father, Mr. Jai Kishan Mittal, in 1976. Later, it was changed to SRC in 1990. At present we have seven branches spread in Delhi, Kolkata, Kanpur, Mumbai and Panipat. We stand at a turnover of over `50 crores with manpower strength of 350 and fleet strength of 70 trucks. We also have our own warehouse. We specialise in Offshore Dedicated Centre and Full Truck Load.
Â Q- What are the major problems in this logistics sector?
A- Toll tax is one of the major problems in this sector and it has been here for a long time now. Road condition was also a major issue, but it is improving now. I will not say it is a â€˜majorâ€™ problem nowadays. Apart from that, getting transit passes at checkposts is also an alarming issue. We have to get a transit pass for every state regularly, and to get that, we have to undergo a lot of harassment. If anything happens in the process, we have to face a lot of problems. Sometimes, driverâ€™s negligence can cause problems while filling up the forms, and in domino effect, one problem leads to another. The form has to be filled again, and it leads to traffic jams, fuel wastage and many other problems.
Q- What should be done for the betterment of the industry?
A- First thing Iâ€™d like to highlight would be the expressways. I believe expressways can be a game changer in the industry. They should be constructed at a fast pace. For betterment of the industry, the government should make the transport process smooth and transparent, which will bring us to the one-time toll tax. They should introduce one-time payment of toll tax for transporters as it will facilitate a smooth movement. Government should also work on the GST, and it should become a reality soon.
Q- Sanjay Gandhi is one of the most famous transport hubs of Delhi, what are the problems prevailing in this hub?
A- The biggest problem in this area is the roadways. The condition is very poor; there are more potholes on the road than the road itself. Another problem that has surfaced over time is the parking problem. There is no space for parking. As a result, people park on the road which leads us to the third major problem of this hubâ€“traffic jams. Broken roads and wrongly parked vehicles lead to long, staggering traffic jams.
Broken roads and wrongly parked vehicles lead to long, staggering traffic jams.
Q- Whatâ€™s your take on the NGT ban?
A- The ban should come to action as soon as possible. I support this ban on 10 year old vehicles. Banning old vehicles will open roads for the new ones. The new vehicles are, of course, more efficient. The new vehicles are made in accordance with the pollution standards, which is again the main motive of the ban. I find new trucks better because of their advanced technologies, ease of conduct and most importantly, improved safety for both goods and drivers.
Q- What are your most favoured brands, and why?
A- I prefer Tata and Ashok Leyland. Fuel efficiency is good in these trucks. They all come with power steering as well. They also offer higher load capacity to transporters. Earlier we used to have 6-tyre trucks on roads, now they are nowhere. Now, companies offer 10, 12, 14, 20-tyre trucks with high load capacities of 25 tonnes, 30 tonnes and so on.
Q- Transport sector hasnâ€™t changed much over the years; the problems that were there in the initial stages still exist. What do you think about it?
A- There are many problems that have been running continuously with the market. Driver shortage is one problem that is here to stay. Drivers are not educated; they donâ€™t get many facilities on the roads. Parking and halting problems are also an everyday struggle for drivers. Highway robberies are also becoming a major problem nowadays. Government should take steps against it. Police should also work aggressively in finding and tracking robbed shipments instead of just filing the FIR. Moving further, overloading of vehicles is also one of the age old problems we are facing. Owners and drivers both are responsible for this. Sometimes owners overload their trucks, sometimes drivers put extra baggage without informing the owners.
Q- Are you in favour of freight fixation or not?
A- Our market depends on demand and supply. Fixation wonâ€™t change anything. If demand increases, we have to raise the price and if it decreases, we relax the prices. On average they remain the same, so fixation wonâ€™t change anything.
On average they remain the same, so fixation wonâ€™t change anything.
Q- Many companies have started online services for customers. What would be the impact of such companies?
A- It is getting popular at a household level. People who want to shift their house and stay away from the hassle of transporting their belongings use these services. So, basically, they are grabbing the packers and movers markets. However, it can be a very successful area. People search everything online, and it would make it easier for them to connect to transporters. But such websites will face problems of the daily changing freight. They wonâ€™t be able to deliver vehicles when the freight rate goes low. A good point is that it will help public reach the transporters. At present, if you want to search for transporters you have to go through directories, websites and lot of other things; a strong database on the website will solve this problem.
Q- Which companies are you associated with right now? What are your main areas of operation?
A- We are associated with Indian Oil, Mawana Sugars, Hindustan Limited and Haldia Petrochemicals. Our main focus is to maintain a balance between Delhi and Kolkata. Normally a trip to Kolkata takes nearly 5-6 days because there are many transit passes needed in between, whereas a trip to Mumbai takes 4-5 days and the distance is almost the same.Â Â
Normally a trip to Kolkata takes nearly 5-6 days because there are many transit passes needed in between, whereas a trip to Mumbai takes 4-5 days and the distance is almost the same.Â Â