NEW DELHI: India is eyeing an ambitious shift in shipping logistics with an ‘Uber-like’ facility that could radically change the way merchandise is moved into or out of ports. This ‘Uberisation’, as officials call it now, at sea ports is set to begin with India’s largest container port, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai. The Government has invited requests for proposal for creating this system, which would allow an importer or exporter to select a trucker via his phone app to transport goods directly from port to warehouse. The move is a part of the Country's big plan, drawn up by the customs in consultation with other departments, to bring down the time taken for imports delivery at sea ports to 48 hours and airports to 24 hours by 2020.
“Request for proposals has been issued,” said a senior Government official privy to the development. This will allow importers sitting in their offices to pre-feed data and get customs cleared goods via transport directly from ports.
This is being done as customs cleared goods also at times get stuck due to issues with transport logistics, which leads to pile up at ports with freight agents.
The Customs Department has already cut the dwell time, or the time taken at ports, to 140 hours from 286 hours in 2013. This, in fact, has been brought down to 62 hours is case of direct port delivery.
India is ranked 146 out of 190 countries on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking on the ‘trading across borders’ measure and the Government feels this can be improved substantially to lift India’s overall rank. India improved its overall rank to 100 this year from 130 last year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants India to break into the top 50.