TCIL and IIM-Cal Release Second Report On Road Freight In India
By Anuja Abraham
Transport Corporation of India Limited (TCIL), India’s leading integrated supply chain and logistics solutions provider, in association with IIM-Calcutta,today released the second edition of the Joint Study Report on the ‘Operational Efficiency of National Highways for Freight Transportation in India’.
The report was unveiled by Dr. C P Joshi, Union Cabinet Minister, Road Transport and Highways.
The research report was commissioned by TCI to assess the operational efficiency of freight transportation by road and the investments made in national highways, public-private partnerships (PPP) in road projects, electronic toll collection (ETC), access – controlled expressways and logistics parks / hubs. Data from seventeen major routes of India was analyzed and compared to key freight transportation statistics of international countries.
The key findings of the report were based on surveys across high volume routes of India with special focus on 2 high volume routes- Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi –Bangalore. The project was commissioned a year back.
To compare the route statistics with 2008-2009 and 2011-12 survey on Delhi Bangalore Highway on an average the toll stoppage delay is 67% with an increase of 18% from the last survey report of 2008-09. The report also estimates that the annual cost to such delays to the economy has increased to Rs. 40 billion as compare to 30 billion. The survey revealed that on Delhi Mumbai Highway it took approximately 3 days to cover a distance of 1,380 kilometers at an average speed of 17 km per hour. The annual cost of such delays to the economy was to the tune of Rs. 30 billion.
The study also reveals that though India’s road freight volumes are increasing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.08% and the population of vehicles (all types) is increasing at a CAGR of 10.76%, the road length is increasing at a CAGR of only 4.01%, indicating the paucity of roads.
Subrata Mitra, Professor, IIM Calcutta said, “We need to adopt the same techniques for road development and maintenance projects in India as in China and other developed Asian countries. According to the survey, vehicles wasted most of their time on electronic toll collection (ETC) which is one of the biggest challenges and can adversely affect our economy. We should set up an independent regulatory authority to assess costs / benefits, service levels, safety measures and tariff structures at the earliest.”
Highlighting some key points of the report, Mr. DP Agarwal, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, TCI, said, “India needs to build large-scale logistics parks and scale up the existing parks to compete with countries like Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Dubai for international cargo. Logistics parks may save India USD 13-16 billion in logistics costs alone. Due to inadequate infrastructure only 3-4% of the warehouses qualify as multi-modal logistics parks. This highlights the need to take initiatives and make investments towards extending, widening and upgrading of highway network and building large-scale logistics parks. Construction of large access-controlled expressway network with Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) capabilities could improve road safety and security.”
The TCI-IIMC joint study report highlights the problems faced by the transport sector and suggests recommendations on how to mitigate the problems and increase the contribution of the sector to the economic growth of India. The report also focuses on issues like land acquisition and waiver of taxes and duties etc. to attract private investments in road development and maintenance projects.