Samsara Newsletter

Week 14, 2021 (Apr 3 – Apr 9)

Policy & Economy News

India's growth rate to jump to 12.5%: IMF

Commerce Ministry seeks restoration of duty free import of export inputs in certain sectors

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India, Israel, UAE trilateral trade seen reaching $110 billion by 2030

Exports from Indore SEZ jump 24.5 pc to Rs 11,944 cr (Rs.119.4 billion) in 2020-21

Turkey looking at strong economic partnership with India, Bilateral trade reaches US $ 5.7 Billion

Shipping News

Water Taxis and ROPAX Ferries will be part of Mumbai's transportation soon

Logistics News

Indian logistics sector expected to rebound in FY22

Growth and Innovation will drive Logistics Sector in 2021

CONCOR invites EoI from local cargo makers

Indian Port News

Deendayal Port Trust retains Numero Uno position while handling more than 117.5 MMT in 2020-21

JNPT handles 4.7 million TEUs in 2020-21 despite Covid-19 & other challenges

DP World Mundra terminal becomes first container terminal in Gujarat to handle 10 mn containers

Policy & Economy News

India's growth rate to jump to 12.5%: IMF
Press Trust of India - April 06 Top
The IMF on Tuesday projected an impressive 12.5 per cent growth rate for India in 2021, stronger than that of China, the only major economy to have a positive growth rate last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Washington-based global financial institution, in its annual World Economic Outlook ahead of the annual Spring meeting with the World Bank, said the Indian economy is expected to grow by 6.9 per cent in 2022. Notably in 2020, India's economy contracted by a record eight per cent, the International Monetary Fund said as it projected an impressive 12.5 per cent growth rate for the country in 2021. China, on the other hand which was the only major economy to have a positive growth rate of 2.3 per cent in 2020, is expected to grow by 8.6 per cent in 2021 and 5.6 per cent in 2022. Chief Economist at IMF Gita Gopinath said: "We are now projecting a stronger recovery in 2021 and 2022 for the global economy compared to our previous forecast, with growth projected to be 6 per cent in 2021 and 4.4 per cent in 2022." In 2020, the global economy contracted by 3.3 per cent. "Nonetheless, the outlook presents daunting challenges related to divergences in the speed of recovery both across and within countries and the potential for persistent economic damage from the crisis," she said in her foreword to the report.
Commerce Ministry seeks restoration of duty free import of export inputs in certain sectors
Exim News Service: New Delhi, April 4 Top
As the removal of duty free status in Budget 2021-22 has impacted exports worth Rs 5,000 crore (Rs.50 billion), the Commerce Ministry has written to the Finance Ministry for immediate restoration of duty free import of export inputs used by the garment, leather and handicrafts sectors. In the communiqué, the Commerce Department has requested to consider restoring the provision of duty free import of essential embellishments, trimming tools and other consumables such as glue, polish, veneers, button, velcro, chatan, badges, beads, sewing thread, motif, hinges, wire rolls, hooks, rivets and certain electric parts used by the industry.

The majority of items qualifying earlier for duty free imports are not manufactured in India. Besides, certain such foreign items are specified by overseas buyers to be used in the products to be exported to them for maintaining quality standards, as per a report.

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India, Israel, UAE trilateral trade seen reaching $110 billion by 2030
Exim News Service: New Delhi, April 8 Top
India, Israel and the UAE could propel the trilateral trade between the countries to a high of $110 billion by 2030, said top diplomats and members of the business community at an event organised by the International Federation of Indo-Israel Chambers of Commerce (IFIICC) to discuss the ongoing business collaborations being pursued through IFIICC's leadership across sectors. Ambassador Ilan Sztulman Starosta, Head of the Israeli Mission in Dubai, said that the international business potential backed by Israeli innovation, UAE's visionary leadership, and the strategic partnership of both nations with India could be $110 billion by 2030.

Ambassador of the UAE to India and Founding Patron of IFIICC, Dr Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, said that UAE and India's bilateral trade is projected to grow from $60 billion in 2020 to $100 billion by 2030. UAE is a key global gateway and trilateral trade with India and Israel could benefit the world, he stressed, as per a report.

Exports from Indore SEZ jump 24.5 pc to Rs 11,944 cr (Rs.119.4 billion)in 2020-21
India Seatrade News - April 9 Top
Soaring demand, especially of medicine, amid the global coronavirus outbreak pushed up the exports from the Indore Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by around 24.5 per cent to nearly Rs 11,944 crore (Rs.119.4 billion) in 2020-21, a commerce ministry official said.

The exports had stood at around Rs 9,600 crore (Rs.96 billion) in 2019-20, the official of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said.

He added that the medicine accounted for a hefty 60 per cent in the exports at the close of the fiscal 2020-21.

The official said that the pharmaceutical companies" production remained unhindered during the coronavirus-induced lockdown as it falls under essential services.

He added that pharmaceutical, packing, engineering, garment and food processing, among 67 units, are working in Indore SEZ.

Of these, 20 units are of pharmaceutical companies.

The zone is in the adjoining Dhar districts Pithampur Industrial area, which is spread over 1,100 hectares.

Turkey looking at strong economic partnership with India, Bilateral trade reaches US $ 5.7 Billion
India Press Trust – New Delhi, April 9 Top
Turkey is considering a major trade and economic partnership with India. In times of pandemic, they are focusing on Virtual Trade Delegation programs to maintain engagement with India.

Stating that in 2020 Türkiye-India foreign trade volume reached 5.7 billion dollars, TIM Chairman Ismail Gülle said, "The Türkiye-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was put into the agenda on early 2010s and initiatives started with the Joint Working Group. We believe that finalizing and implementing the agreement will have a strong impact on bilateral trade relations. In the January-February period, our exports to India increased by 9 percent compared to the same period of last year to 173.4 million dollars."

TIM Chairman Ismail Gülle stated that Türkiye sees India as a friendly country that is taking firm steps towards becoming a global power with its growing economy, wide market, military power, experience in space and information technology, rich human resources, long-established history, and cultural heritage. Reminding that diplomatic relations, established after India gained its independence in 1947, have come to present-day with strength. Ismail Gülle said, "In the economic sphere, the Türkiye-India Joint Economic Committee, established in 1996, the Joint Committees on Agriculture and Tourism, the Double Taxation Prevention Agreement signed in 1996 and the Mutual Assistance Agreements signed in 2015 have been the main mechanisms that strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries."

CEPA agreement will strengthen bilateral trade

Emphasizing that Türkiye-India foreign trade volume reached $5.7 billion in 2020, Gülle said, "The Türkiye-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was put into the agenda on early 2010s and initiatives started with the Joint Working Group. We believe that finalizing and implementing the agreement will have a strong impact on bilateral trade relations. Türkiye looks forward to stronger partnerships with India, which is expected to be the fifth-largest economy in the world in 2025 and the third largest in the world in 2030. As the field workers of Türkiye's foreign trade, we want to make the best use of business opportunities in India within the framework of the win-win principle.

Deputy Trade Minister Ms. Gonca Yilmaz Batur said that increasing the variety of products is important for both countries to further develop our commercial relations. She also said that India- Turkey Business Forum is being planned this year.

Turkish Ambassador to New Delhi Sakir Özkan Torunlar who delivered a speech during the opening ceremony of the virtual delegation, said "Turkish exporters should concentrate on the products that the Indian market needs, instead of products that are being produced in India, and form partnerships with Indian companies."

Shipping News

Water Taxis and ROPAX Ferries will be part of Mumbai's transportation soon
Daily Shipping Times – New Delhi, April 09 Top
Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (I/C) for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, chaired a meeting to review the Urban Water Transportation projects for Mumbai, Maharashtra. Senior Officials of the Ministry, Chairperson of Mumbai Port and officials of Maharashtra Maritime Board and other stakeholders were present in the meeting.

To promote eco-friendly waterways transportation and reduce the traffic load of crowded Mumbai city roads, 4 new routes for ROPAXferry services and 12 new routes of Water Taxi are planned to be operational by December, 2021.

Currently, ROPAX ((roll-on/roll-off passenger) service from Bhaucha Dhakka(Ferry Wharf) to Mandwa (Alibag) is successfully operating by reducing the road journey of 110 kmto about 18 km by using waterways, thereby reducing travel time of daily commuters from about 3-4 hours to merely one hour. After the huge benefits being reaped of this ferry service, similar services are planned to be operational at various other routes in Mumbai. The details of the new routes are as follows:

Opening up of 4 new routes of ROPAX Ferries and 12 routes of Water taxis is going to prove a big boon for daily commuters of Mumbai. It will result in a pollution-free, peaceful and time-saving journey as well as reduce the travel cost and carbon footprint significantly. It would also cater for the requirements of increasing number of tourists and commuters at various stretches of Mumbai city.

Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (I/C) for Ports, Shipping and Waterways stated that operationalization of new waterways routes is a big step towards Prime Minister

Shri Narendra Modi's vision of harnessing waterways and integrating them with the economic development of the country.It will open up new opportunities and avenues to create an ecosystem and network of such ROPAX services and Water Taxi services at numerous other routes in all coastal states.

Logistics News

Indian logistics sector expected to rebound in FY22
Exim News Service: New Delhi, April 7 Top
India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has assigned a stable outlook to the logistics sector for FY22, given 1) its expectation of strong GDP growth in FY22 which should drive logistics demand, 2) the strong-to-moderate recovery already being witnessed across various logistics sub-sectors, and 3) commissioning of the Dedicated Freight Corridor which could boost volumes and efficiencies across ports as well as inland container depot/container freight station players.

Major Ports' year-on-year volume growth has been positive for the past three months, while private ports led by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone also reported resilient volumes. In FY22, Ind-Ra estimates an 8% yoy improvement in volumes for India ports sector (major + private ports), post an estimated 4% yoy decline in FY21. The 8% yoy rise will be led by private ports, which in the past five years have displayed a median multiplier (vs real GDP growth rate) of 1.4x, thus outperforming growth from Major Ports. Historically, India's port volumes have closely followed GDP growth, with container growth coming in 2x of overall cargo volumes.

Domestic air travel demand, which has continued to recover in 2HFY21, is expected to strengthen in FY22, though the risk to this view arises from fresh waves of Covid-19 recently. Both corporate and domestic travel demand are already showing signs of revival, which has helped support load factors and yields, while cargo volumes are expected to rise amid stronger macro-economic fundamentals and e-commerce push.

For inland container depot/container freight station operators, Ind-Ra forecasts a healthy pick-up in volumes though competition remains intense and realisations remain soft. The reduced dwell time after the commissioning of the Dedicated Freight Corridor and increased double-stacking volume will support higher operating efficiencies, which is likely to support EBITDA margins in FY22-FY23. For warehouses, Goods and Services Tax-led consolidation and rationalisation of occupancy rates could continue in FY22, it explained in a release.

Growth and Innovation will drive Logistics Sector in 2021
Daily Shipping Times – Mumbai, April 08 Top
In India, the demand for today and the future is integrated end-to-end Logistics solutions. This would encompass integrated infrastructure / assets platform, integrated services platform and integrated digital platform. There is a wide spectrum of players in the domain ranging from the very small exporters and importers, to medium-sized and large traders to MNCs. Hence, the sector would continue to witness consolidation, process standardisation, technological upgradation and digital transformations for more agility, and integration not only between modes of transportation but also the users and third party service providers. Efficient, cost effective customised solutions is what customers are looking for. Emergence of third-party (3PL) and fourth-party (4PL) logistics service providers would address complex supply chain challenges.

There would be further development of Multimodal Logistics Parks (MMLPs), streamlined economic corridor routes for efficient freight movement, and intermodal stations to connect various transportation modes to ensure service integration. Cold Chain Logistics is poised to grow and we are currently witnessing the contribution of the sector in the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain. Integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure facilities using high-end technology, without any break, from the farm gate to the consumer would continue to grow. Large logistics players would focus on using sustainable and environment friendly infrastructure for eg. using fleet of electric vehicles for last mile delivery. Increasing investment into Logistics Startups from VCs and Enterprises will also drive growth and innovation in the sector.

Technology Disruptions

New age technology has revolutionised the Logistics sector by being a key differentiator. Digital transformation of the Logistics sector could translate into value of

USD 1.5 trillion for the participants and an additional USD 2.4 trillion worth of societal benefits by 2025, according to World Economic Forum(2016). Logistics startups will be leveraging technology to provide smart solutions and disrupt the traditional way of operating.

Internet of Things (IoT), Automation technology, Cloud Computing, Advanced / Big Data Analysis, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics will be leveraged by market leaders in this domain to provide end-to-end lean and smart logistics solutions, enhance quality, reduce cost and minimise human intervention. Driverless vehicles, wearable devices, warehouse digitization / automation will help achieve operational efficiencies to counter supply-chain cost pressures in the industry. The industry will continue to witness fast paced technology disruptions resulting in real time supply chain visibility.

GOI initiatives in the Logistics Sector

Strong growth supported by government reforms, transportation sector development plans, growing retail sales and the E-commerce sector are likely to be the key drivers of the logistics industry in India in 2021. Online freight platforms and aggregators have been on the rise in the Indian logistics market, given the need for low entry barriers and less capital investment compared to setting up of an asset-based business model. Manufacturing in India holds the potential to contribute up to 25%–30% of the GDP by 2025 which will drive the growth of the warehousing segment in India. The logistics market in India is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% between 2019 and 2025.

E-commerce is another major segment which is expected to support growth of the logistics industry during the forecast period. Increasing investments and trade point towards a healthy outlook for the Indian freight sector. Port capacity is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% to 6% by 2022, thereby, adding a capacity of 275 to 325 MT. Indian Railways aims to increase its freight traffic from 1.1 billion tons in 2017 to 3.3 billion tons in 2030. Freight traffic on airports in India has the potential to reach 17 million tons by FY 2040. However, lack of supporting infrastructure, automated material handling systems and skilled manpower, slow adoption of technology and high manual processes are some areas where the Indian air cargo industry needs to buck up as compared to its global peers. (Report Linkers: ‘Indian Logistics Industry Outlook, 2020')

The National Logistics Policy that would be released by the Government of India this year aims to promote seamless movement of goods across the country. It will focus on several areas such as process re-engineering, digitisation, focus on multi-modal transport, export-import trade etc. and will look at improving logistics in core sectors. It will address many issues in a seamless manner. Effective implementation of the policy would help provide an impetus to trade, enhance export competitiveness, and improve India's ranking in the Logistics Performance Index.

With opportunities galore and a business environment filled with hope, there's no looking back for our country and the Logistics sector in 2021!

CONCOR invites EoI from local cargo makers
India Seatrade News - April 9 Top
In a bid to promote Government of India's Atamnirbhar Bharat Mission and to cut the dependency on China Navratna Railway PSU Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR) has invited expression of interest (EoI) from Indian container manufacturers. The step has been taken by the Railways PSU ahead of launching a competitive bidding process to buy 6,000 containers that will be procured from the Indian manufacturers.

CONCOR said it plans to buy 6,000, 20 feet high cube end open containers, through an open tender in which six vendors will be given a minimum order of 1000 containers. In December last year, the Government had announced that the state-run company will now use the indigenous container instead of China to reduce the dependency on China.

The purpose of the EoI is to prepare the prospective indigenous container manufacturers for the forthcoming competitive bidding process and also to take their suggestions to achieve the objective of developing local container manufacturing industry in line with the Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiatives of the government, according to the EoI document.

According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, India will require approximately 60,000 new containers between 2021 and 2026, that mean an annual addition of about 10,000 containers every year. Currently, India purchases its entire container from China.

Indian Port News

Deendayal Port Trust retains Numero Uno position while handling more than 117.5 MMT in 2020-21
Exim News Service: Gandhidham, April 4 Top
Backed by support from port users and the shipping fraternity, and the efforts by port staff, Deendayal Port Trust (DPT) handled more than 117.5 million metric tonnes (MMT) of cargo during FY 2020-21 despite the low demand-supply situation prevailing on account of the Corona pandemic and two cargo berths spared for maintenance for the major part of the financial year. The port had handled 122.61 MMT during FY 2019-20; the decrease was thus only 5 MMT or 4.12%.

The port handled dry cargo (including containers) at Kandla to the tune of 536.30 lakh MTs in FY 2020-21 as compared to 486.40 lakh MTs in FY 2019-20, an increase of 10%. Liquids at Kandla were 148.16 lakh MTs as compared to 157.84 lakh MTs, down 6%. At Vadinar, the port handled 480.33 lakh MTs as against 558.09 lakh MTs, a decrease of 14%. Transhipment cargo was 10.79 lakh MTs as compared to 23.74 lakh MTs, down 4%.

Notably, despite the tough situation globally, KICT, the container terminal, handled around 5.15 lakh TEUs in FY 2020-21 as compared to 4.47 lakh TEUs the previous fiscal, which is commendable. This was the first time the port crossed 5 lakh TEUs in container handling, highlighted a release.

Concerted efforts and a series of positive initiatives taken by the Deendayal Port administration led to this success, in all spheres like efficiency, productivity, cost-effectiveness, transparency and port user satisfaction, under the able leadership of the Chairman, Mr S. K. Mehta, IFS, and Mr Nandeesh Shukla, IRTS, Deputy Chairman. The port administration congratulated the port users, Board of Trustees, officers, employees and unions for their support and cooperation in achieving the significant landmark of over 117 MMT, the release added.

JNPT handles 4.7 million TEUs in 2020-21 despite Covid-19 & other challenges
Exim News Service: Navi Mumbai, April 4 Top
* Registers highest container volume of 527,792 TEUs in March 2021.

* BPCL Liquid Cargo Terminal handles highest LPG

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) registered a throughput of over 4.7 million TEUs in container handling in FY 2021 as against 5.03 million TEUs during FY 2020. The total traffic handled at the port during the financial year 2020-21 was 64.81 million tonnes as against 68.45 million tonnes in FY 2019-20.

The total container traffic handled in March 2021 stood at 527,792 TEUs, which was the highest volume handled in a month since inception. The total traffic handled at JNPT in March 2021 was 7.33 million tonnes as against 5.93 million tonnes in March 2020, up 23.53%.

Besides, there was a major improvement in the average turnaround time of all vessels by 2.62% i.e. from 29.42 hours to 28.64 hours, as well as for container vessels by 2.01% i.e. from 25.82 hours to 25.30 hours, from pilot boarding to de-boarding, in FY 2020-21 in comparison with FY 2019-20.

Terminal volumes

JNPT has five container terminals. Taking an overview of the numbers terminal-wise, APM Terminals Mumbai (GTI) handled 1.66 million TEUs, DP World NSIGT 0.78 million TEUs, DP World NSICT 0.75 million TEUs and the port-owned JNPCT 0.54 million TEUs. The newly developed BMCT handled around 0.93 million TEUs during FY 2021. NSICT and BMCTPL recorded 41.33% and 15.36% growth, respectively, in FY 2020-21 in comparison with FY 2019-20.

JNPT's BPCL Liquid Cargo Terminal handled the highest LPG during FY 2020-21 at 1.04 million tonnes from 70 vessels, 22.35% higher as compared to the previous highest of 0.85 million tonnes from 57 vessels in FY 2019-20.

JNPT also handled 6,097 rakes in FY 2020-21, with the rail coefficient (April to March) being 19.73% as compared to 16.14% in FY 2019-20 with 5,127 rakes.

Mr Sanjay Sethi, IAS, Chairman, JNPT, commented: "Despite the pandemic, JNPT, along with its stakeholders, stood up to this challenge and put up a strong and spirited fight. In a laudable display of team effort, everyone has worked against all odds and helped the port retain its good performance in FY21. JNPT will continue to play an important role and contribute to the nation's economy by delivering its duties of an important part of the supply chain. Our high-performance numbers are a validation of our continuous efforts to empower trade and make India a foremost player in the global maritime sector".

Trade facilitation

Along with operational excellence, JNPT has been constantly working towards facilitating ease of doing business for the trade. As part of this, it took a major step by facilitating a new Inter Terminal Route connecting BMCT with the other four container terminals. Also during the month, the Railways undertook the successful trial run of a double-stacked dwarf container train from Mehsana (Gujarat) to JN Port. During the financial year, the port also received operational status for India's first port-based Special Economic Zone, the JNPT SEZ. Besides, JNPT completed the construction of a coastal berth with capacity to handle 2.5 million tonnes of coastal cargo, including liquid cargo.

JNPT strives to further transform and upgrade its services to match the growing demand and global trends in the maritime sector, emphasised a release.

DP World Mundra terminal becomes first container terminal in Gujarat to handle 10 mn containers
Exim News Service: Mumbai/Mundra, April 8 Top
The DP World-operated Mundra International Container Terminal (MICT) has set yet another record for being the first container terminal in Gujarat to successfully handle more than 13 million TEUs, and 10 million containers, since its inception. This milestone comes with the terminal achieving its all-time highest monthly throughput of 123,611 TEUs by handling 70 vessels in March 2021. MICT has registered a remarkable 60% year-on-year growth on Origin Destination (OD) volumes over March 2020, surpassing overall India's OD growth of 29.8% for the same period, highlighted a release.

MICT is the first terminal at Mundra, the largest port on the western coast of India. From handling 20,000 TEUs in its first year of operations in 2003, the terminal has emerged as the gateway for the North and North-West regions of the country while pioneering the container revolution in the Kutch region. MICT has achieved this breakthrough by handling more than 10,000 container vessels while serving international trade routes and contributing to the growth of India's container trade and economic development.

MICT continues to excel in areas of operational efficiency and deploying best-in-class infrastructure and technology, thereby putting it in the top quartile of the best-performing container terminals globally. The terminal's proximity to the North India market and excellent rail connectivity to the key ICDs and the hinterland has made Mundra a strong first choice for exporters and importers.

In the last quarter of 2020, MICT added two new mainline services to the Far East, providing direct and cost-effective connections. The terminal offers six mainline vessels and a vast network of feeder services which provide customers with faster and reliable connections to global markets, the release informed.

Capt. Sujeet Singh, CEO, Port Terminal – Mundra, DP World, said, "At DP World, our emphasis continues to be on enhancing terminal's productivity by constantly modernising terminal infrastructure and IT systems. This achievement is an example of the important role our employees have played to deliver the best services to our partners in the supply chain with highest levels of efficiency.

"Our focus continues to be on facilitating a reliable and swift flow of cargo, thus making our customers' products reach the market faster, reduce the cost of logistics and improve effectiveness of the supply chain in North-Western India."