Digitising Indian ports and waterways to reduce logistics cost

Digitising Indian ports and waterways can help reduce overall logistics costs while enhancing the country's competitiveness to transform it into a global manufacturing powerhouse.

Technology company Cisco's initiative to digitise ports and waterways is centred on four focus areas. The first is to improve turnaround time, which will directly impact the capacity and revenue. Preventing loss of revenue and equipment failure through real-time equipment monitoring is another focus area.

Cisco has partnered with some of the largest Indian seaports and inland waterways, including Visakhapatnam, Deendayal Port, Kolkata Port and IWAI (Inland Waterways Authority of India), to transform them by digitising their processes.

Speaking on the digital revolution, Mr Shantanu Bhadkamkar, President, Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India said, “Digitisation of commerce or e-commerce was the most predominant trade for last few years. We are in the cusp of what is a digital ‘revolution’ or the 4th industrial revolution, or I4.O. Logistic sector is an early assimilator of technology. And ports, being one of the most cash rich segments of the logistics sector, have been the earliest assimilators of technology. It is about 10 years back that we have seen usage of robots, automated transport vehicles and digital exchange of messages with all the stakeholders in some of the leading ports. We have to catch up with those ports. Hence we need better technology and better assimilation with greater stakeholder engagement where the benefits of digital technology is passed over to all the stakeholders so that we as a nation we are most competitive in international trade.”

On transforming the digitising process of IWAI, Dr Amita Prasad, IAS, Chairperson, IWAI articulated, "As a step towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of various activities being performed by IWAI and to ensure Ease of Doing Business, IWAI has developed digital solutions to enable stakeholders to have access to key information for National Waterways using integrated digital platforms.”

She highlighted the key digital solutions developed by IWAI as follows:

1.  CAR-D (Cargo Data) Portal – Web portal

2.  PANI (Portal for Asset & Navigation Information) – web portal & Mobile Apps

3.  Management Information and Reporting Solution (MIRS) Portal

4.  IBP Permission Portal

5.  NOC web portal    

“The solutions were identified and developed in consultations with Shippers, Vessel Owners, Industries, Central & State Ministries, Maritime Boards, and other internal and external stakeholders for the IWT sector,” Dr Prasad informed.


(Courtesy: Marex Media)

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