Praveen Somani, Director, Strategy & New Business Development at Inland World Logistics

With a humble beginning in the eastern region, Inland World Logistics has expanded its network to pan India. Praveen Somani, Director, Strategy & New Business Development at Inland World Logistics, details on the unique and customized solutions serving changing customer demands

QHow has been your business in the past year?

We have registered 15 per cent growth during the last financial year. We have our presence in sundry, parcel loads, Full Truck Loads, ODC projects and 3PL warehousing. We have strategic plans to further increase our share in shipping segment.

QYou operate in the eastern and north eastern region for a long time. What are the challenges logistics service providers face in these regions?

We started providing logistics services with good volumes in eastern region and currently we have Pan India presence in all segments. We have strong presence in Kolkata, Assam, Nagaland, Andaman & Nicobar and Sikkim. The challenges are infrastructure, law and order and their local administrative net connectivity with respect to speed.

QTell us about your warehousing operations? Which are the major commodities moving through your warehouses and what is the hinterland coverage?

Inland is having a strong presence in Eastern region with 10 lac sqft of warehouse space and open space of 20 lac sqft. We are carrying all products ie: Textile, chemicals, FMCG, Industrial, Telecom, cables. Warehousing is a process and hence we are not restricted to commodities as we are a solution provider.

 QPlease explain about your cargo consolidation operations?

Inland World Logistics had started point-to-point services 30 years back from Pan India to Eastern region with a concept of Delhi/Kolkata – 72 hrs, Mumai/Kolkata – 96 hrs Ahmedabad/Kolkata – 92 hours. During those times, major locations to which goods moved were Kolkata and Eastern region on a daily basis. As the market evolved, we also added other routes and consolidation became a part of the strategy. We are expanding from West and Kolkata with our own customized vehicle for sundry cargo. Similarly for Guwahati, we utilize our own fleet or attached fleet and rail infra by millennium/Concor goods train for consolidated cargo movement from Gujarat and Delhi to Guwahati.

QWhat type of “personalised services” do the customers demand?

Customers expect real-time information regarding movement. Most sectors are forming core competencies by out sourcing their logistics activities from reverse logistics to last-mile delivery including redistribution. We are successfully handling the last-mile delivery in Eastern region with dedicated fleets on selected stations on milk run basis thus optimizing customer distribution cost. We are targeting to also provide MIS reports through auto mails and auto SMS and now submitting the bills digitally along with POD to support digital India, wherever customers accept electronic input.

 QWhat is the demand for Express Cargo service?

Previously express cargo service was for selected time sensitive cargo. But, now-a-days scenario has changed and warehousing has become challenging for everyone – the service provider as well as the customer, with inventory/finance cost going high. Ecommerce entry has redefined delivery concept, therefore now-a-days all customers are expecting their stock to be delivered in express mode in B2C. After GST, warehousing concept is also being redefined. Cargo movement pattern has changed and last mile delivery is going to be implemented through express cargo. Moreover, as per GST law, transporter or logistic service provider cannot hold goods in their warehouse for more than prescribed days as per law. Thus express cargo service will be increased and transporter warehouse will be minimized and inventory at the end customer will go up.

 QTracking of cargo during road transportation is still an issue in India. How do you address this concern?

Real-time tracking has become need of the industry and still transport industry is unorganized and many fleet operators are providing vehicles to logistic companies without GPS devices. These vehicles are plying on one way basis thus giving external GPS devices to them and getting work done is challenging for the logistic service provider. We have developed our own software for linking external devices to it and to customers’ SAP, so information is shared in real time and automated within a short period of time. It will be implemented across the sector soon.