India has been making collective efforts to enhance the impression of its merchandise exports globally and it is the appropriate thing for the nation to do as exports are the key factor for the growth. The efforts made by the authorities to achieve the objectives of India becoming a core part of the global value chain or the production linked incentive schemes will be given attention only when these initiatives will result in enhanced earning by the export industry.

The latest data has suggested that the exports have been increasing with time. However, the cumulative share India holds in the global exports is still a bare minimum of 2 per cent, which is extremely minute looking at the size of the country. The major reason behind the gloomy performance is the high logistics costs. In order to address this issue, many efforts are being made by the policymakers of the industry, to build the transport infrastructure at a world-class level. However, with the building of hard infrastructure, it would be better to pay attention to the soft infrastructure as well for the betterment.

port logistics

There is ample scope for some of the ports to improve the efficiency in handling the shipments. 

A performance index based on 11 parameters shows how the major ports in the east and south are lagging in terms of export-related logistics. While some parameters are common to all major ports, there are some which may vary from port to port. The key parameters for the ports are: (1) Penalty cost as per cent logistics cost; (2) logistics duration in hours; (3) ease of documentation and custom; (4) speed money according to logistics cost percentage; (5) costs of custom clearing with a share of the total cost of logistics; (6) overall bribes to business measured on a scale of 1-10; (7) duration from unloading to customs check; (8) harassment by gangs, leakage, etc on a scale of 1-10; (9) duration from cargo transported by CBIC officials to port; (10) time taken from custom checks to goods finally moved from ports for importers; (11) duration of completion of inspection by CBIC officials to cargo loading. 

For the logistics performance index (LPI), around 1,200 interviews were conducted with major stakeholders who deal with export shipping at 22 major ports of the nation to regulate the perspective of 11 parameters mentioned above. The final list included the top 5 and bottom 5 names of the ports based on the same index.

port logistics

The latest data has suggested that the exports have been increasing with time.

A significant difference was indicated in the efficiency across the ports by the index. Looking at the same, it was noticed that there is ample scope for some of the ports to improve the efficiency in handling the shipments and keep up with some of the ports that are performing better. By analysing the micro-processes engaged in the ecosystem, the scope for process reengineering should be examined in order to remove non-value-adding, yet time-consuming, nodes and discover inefficient nodes. By implementing standard operating procedures across all operations, a transparent framework outlining responsibility and accountability, as well as decision-making for each node participating, must be implemented into the ecosystem.