Positioning West Bengal as a key Logistics Hub

 

KPMG in India report titled – “Positioning West Bengal as a key Logistics Hub” was launched  at the 11TH CII Logistics Colloquium 2018 .

The report states that West Bengal has a huge potential to emerge as the logistics hub of the entire Eastern and North Eastern region of the country. The development of a robust logistics sector in West Bengal, and catering to the hinterland in Eastern and NE India, will have to build on systematic steps including the following: physical assets (in the form of logistics parks) that support efficient logistical services, an enabling policy and institutional framework, digital solutions and relevant skillsets.

Some key highlights from the report are as follows:

The Indian logistics sector is likely to grow from USD160 billion in 2017 to USD215 billion by 2020 – this attractive growth is expected to be a consequence of the introduction of GST, growth in manufacturing, emergence of new industrial growth centres and increase in government investments in key infrastructure, among others

According to estimates, the market size of the West Bengal Logistics sector  will reach USD20 billion by 2020 The large consumer base of West Bengal, and the emerging consumer bases in states like Bihar, Odisha and North-Eastern India, underpin this lucrative potential West Bengal’s strategic location also makes it a gateway to South East Asia and Eastern and North Eastern India and especially to the growing economies of Bangladesh and NepalEstimates indicate that the five states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Assam will grow on to contribute a quarter of India’s GDP by 2035, with West Bengal capturing nearly 10 per cent , thus representing a phenomenal growth curve for logistics sector to ride on

The growth of the Logistics sector in West Bengal will likely also benefit from the structural positives of upcoming major infrastructural projects in the region Major economic corridors – Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor or Eastern, Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor, East Coast Economic Corridor, Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) trade corridor – are all likely to boost logistical demand and operations A new deep-sea port at Tajpur will enhance the state’s maritime capabilities by adding on to the two existing ports at Kolkata and Haldia

West Bengal is also well positioned to leverage existing infrastructural strengths, which includes  having a waterfront of 950 kms, close to 16 per cent share of the total length of National Waterways, one of the highest road coverage, two operating international airports and one of the largest warehousing capacity in the Eastern part of the country

Five potential sites in West Bengal offer the opportunity to develop end-to-end logistics parks with multi-modal capabilities.  Cumulatively, these five locations – Dankuni, Durgapur, Tajpur, Malda city and Siliguri – have the potential to mobilise investments worth USD1.5 billion and generate as many as 30,000 direct jobs and up to nearly one lac indirect jobs

West Bengal is looking forward to attract investments in modern multi-modal logistics parks with features like automated storage systems, multi-tiered warehouses, solar-powered technologies, etc.

West Bengal has recently introduced a state Logistics policy; to fully harness the sector’s potential, the government should now focus on strengthening coordination between industrial, infrastructural and logistical initiatives in the state, set up a Logistics Centre of Excellence, promote adoption of digital solutions to improving the efficiency of logistics service delivery, develop sector-focused skill-sets among the targeted workforce and help create an enabling climate for growth of start-ups in the sector

To conclude, we strongly feel that the logistics sector is likely to continue to be the backbone of economic development in the Eastern and NE states. The growth potential of logistics sector in West Bengal and Eastern India is enormous. A robust logistics eco-system could help the state to unlock hidden efficiencies in upstream operations of manufacturing and agriculture and improve consumer experiences in accessing goods of their choice on time and at reduced costs. Thus, a sustainable and balanced growth of the logistics sector in West Bengal can enable the social and economic development of the entire region.

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