The Indian logistics scenario is constantly evolving. As the number of companies engaged in logistics increase and the volumes moved show a constant growth, there is an increasing transition with infrastructure readiness and technology being the key drivers for growth. The Indian logistics market is currently valued at USD 215 billion and is growing at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.5%.1 The Indian Railways has also taken a number of necessary interventions in this direction, such as the introduction of an online interface for freight customers, Terminal Management System (TMS), electronic registration of demand and electronic payment system. These have enhanced the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB).2
To fast track collaborative growth, the Cement Industry is constantly innovating and working in alignment with the Railways through high impact initiatives creating win-win solutions for all the stakeholders involved and driving economic development.
A number of innovative measures have been taken by the Cement Industry in the recent years to enhance the user experience for its stakeholders. A few of them are as follows:
A CMA Member Company has introduced technological intervention and innovation by developing a movable electric conveyor belt to help in faster loading and unloading of cement bags at the goods sheds. One end of the conveyor is deployed at the unloading point in the wagon and the other end moves across the platform till the loading point on the truck. This helps in faster unloading. The Member Company has previously undertaken trials at the Surat goods shed in Gujarat. The belt offers a number of advantages and is a win-win for both the Indian Railways and the Cement Industry
A CMA Member Company is working closely with the South Central Railways and Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) and offering door to door shipping service for containerised cement movement by rail. The first rake was flagged off for transporting cement from Jaggayyapet in Andhra Pradesh to Shalimar in West Bengal.
A CMA Member Company is actively innovating and has set up 7 bulk terminals across the Country, the latest being a 1.2 million tonne per annum terminal at Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai. Bulk cement will be moved in bulk rakes from the Company’s manufacturing units located at Solapur in Maharashtra and Malkhed in Karnataka to the Kalamboli terminal at Navi Mumbai.
As the Indian Railways and the Cement Industry take necessary measures and innovate to boost cement loading on rail, it is important that necessary operational and policy changes are continued to ensure that momentum is not lost. Successful introduction of innovative interventions will be a win-win for all the stakeholders, which will promote energy efficiency, environmental conservation and also lead to conservation of resources.