Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for Road Transport and Highways listed four Es that are crucial to streamline the ports, shipping and logistics industry in India. Speaking at the 11th Biennial International Conference on Ports, Shipping and Logistics organised by Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai recently, Gadkari said, “I would list four Es necessary to streamline the sector: Ethics, Economy, Ecology and Environment. Environment is of the highest priority. It is time to encourage public transport and the use of Green fuels like ethanol, methanol and green hydrogen. Logistics cost can be reduced to nearly 9% with express highways, the use of EVs and other substitute fuels. Waterways are the most cost efficient mode of transport and we must leverage it. It is also important to use technology to drive a sustainable lifestyle for the economically deprived sections of society.”


He informed that most of the work of the Delhi Mumbai expressway will be completed by December. He also shared that about 7 to 8 logistics parks will be set up in Maharashtra alongwith dry ports in Pune, Nashik, Mumbai and Nagpur. “We are also planning to develop Busports on the lines of airports. Besides, 40 river ports are also planned including Varanasi and Sahibganj,” he stated. In his welcome address, Nilesh Shah, President of the Chamber and MD, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Co Ltd, highlighted the Chamber’s role in being an effective vehicle between corporates and government bodies.


In his address at the conference, Shripad Naik, Minister of state for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India emphasised the importance of PPP in the shipping industry. “India’s geographic location makes it an important transit hub for the global shipping industry. Public Private Partnership (PPP) will play an important role in the growth of the maritime sector in India and an important source of investment as well,” he said.


Speaking at the conference, Anil Radhakrishnan, Director, Accex Supply Chain said, “The National Logistics policy, digital and technological advances have proved good for Industry. Sagaramala has boosted the infrastructural development in our waterways. We need to now focus on continued infra development at the right places; leverage on technological advances, skill development and Sustainable opportunities.”


Rajiv Jalota, IAS, Chairman, Mumbai Port Authority and Additional Charge, DG, Directorate General of Shipping was also present at the event. He informed that the National Logistics Portal Marine has achieved the objective of offering a platform encompassing complete end-to-end logistics solutions to help exporters, importers, and service providers exchange documents seamlessly and transact business.


Other dignitaries who were present at the event were Vivek Johri, IRS, Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs and Special Secretary to the Government of India and Padmashri Prof.Ganapati Dadasaheb Yadav, Ex-vice Chancellor, ICT.


The day also saw several insightful knowledge sessions. The CXO Roundtable on Changing Business Models and Innovation in Logistics and Maritime Sector was moderated by Capt. Nikunj Parashar, Founder, Sagar Defence Engineering and Oceanos BV Netherland. The panel members were Gaurav Gupta, Managing Director, DSV Solutions Pvt Ltd; Pratik Shah, Director, EY; Dharmendra Gangrade, Head-Logistics Management Centre, L&T Group and Ashish Agarwal, MD, Freightos.


Another panel discussion was on Investment Avenues for Infrastructure led growth opportunities in Shipping, Ports & Logistics. The session moderator was Prasad Gadkari, Executive Director & Chief Strategy Officer, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). Panel members included Lars Sorensen, MD, Hapag Llyod India Pvt. Ltd; Kenichi Kono, Senior Representative Japan, International Cooperation Agency (JICA), India; Vivek Kele, Director, Teamglobal Logistics Pvt Ltd; Parag Thally , SVP & Head Real Economy Group, Axis Bank and Deepal Shah, Deputy Group Chief Financial Officer, Allcargo Logistics Ltd.


There was also a CXO Roundtable on Sustainable Logistics and Green Initiatives. The session was chaired by Amitabh Kumar, IRS, Former DG, Directorate General of Shipping. The panel included Senator Dr. PKC Bose, Vice Chairman and MD, Enercon Wind Energy Pvt. Ltd; Atit Mahajan, MD ,CMA-CGM India; R Mukundan, MD and CEO, Tata Chemicals; Kavita Jain, VP-Supply Chain, South Asia, Hindustan Unilever Ltd & Unilever South Asia and Pavithran M Kallada, Managing Director – India, PSA BDP.


The special guests included Dr Sanjeev Ranjan, IAS, Chairman, National Shipping Board; Unmesh Sharad Wagh, IRS, Deputy Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority and Animesh Gupta, President, JSPL.

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