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AMTOI’s North Region Chapter holds conference on multimodalism in Delhi

The Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India’s (AMTOI) North Region Chapter held its first conference on “Multimodalism – Is India ready to exploit its full potential” at Pride Plaza, Aerocity, New Delhi on November 1, 2019. The focus was on discussing multimodalism and its different aspects in the context of India, said a release.

Mr N. Sivasailam, IAS, Special Secretary, Logistics, Ministry of Commerce, was the Chief Guest and inaugurated the conference by lighting the traditional lamp.

Mr Shantanu Bhadkamkar, President, AMTOI, Mr Xerrxes Master, Vice-President, Mr George Abrao, Honorary Secretary along with the other Management Committee members and dignitaries from the AMTOI National Body and other chapters as well as the extended board members expressed their views and contributed with their knowledge and experience.

The event was a great success with over a hundred delegates participating.

It was particularly significant given the recent government interest in formulating logistics policies and the changes suggested to be framed to regulate the sector.

The conference broadly covered and focused on the following points: 

* Are we future-ready with a seamless Multimodal Transport ecosystem?

* Is MTD in the true sense of the word a “Multimodal Transport Document”? Is there a need for MTD to evolve in the present day context?

* Roles & Relevance of intermediaries in future of supply chain

Mr Sailesh Bhatia and Mr Vivek Kele, past Presidents, and Mr Shantanu Bhadkamkar touched upon the inception of AMTOI in 2000 and the purpose of having this formal association. The vision was to become a pivot to address the policy-based grievances among the stakeholders in multimodal transport. Today, AMTOI has come a long way and participates in sharing the inputs in policy formation. It has specialised councils for NVOCC, liquid logistics, women empowerment and more. AMTOI also has its quarterly publication, which reaches out to all the stakeholders.

AMTOI emphasises that the logistics industry would transform through transition from a segmented transport system to an end-to-end transport service-driven industry, stressed a release.

The need, functioning and importance of Multimodal Transport Documentation were emphasised at the event.

The ongoing efforts with the government to grant SRO status to AMTOI, by which the industry will be able to monitor itself, was most convincingly expressed to the Special Secretary.

AMTOI made the point that policies offering equal opportunity and more liberalisation on the global front need to be brought in. The Special Secretary expressed deep understanding and support to the efforts made by AMTOI over the years. He also emphasised on having a digital business platform where all can avail of the rates quoted and other details.

In the first session, the goal to have better infrastructure was touched upon, be it road, rail, ocean or air. The present infrastructure leads to bottlenecks and is expensive, especially to support seamless multimodal transportation in North India. The capacities of each mode should be designed to match, say, port capacities to match with road capacities and likewise in other modes, to avoid choked movement, it was pointed out. 

To support the hub and spoke system in multimodal is tough at this point of time because of policies and taxation, it was said. Still, the need remains to create a highly interconnected and technically advanced ecosystem. Long-term investment has to be planned to create infrastructure to check the bottlenecks.

Once the dedicated freight corridors become functional, things will get a boost, was a point made.

Multimodal Transport Document 

MTD was introduced in 1993 under Hamburg Rules. The widespread acceptance of the MTD has to be made possible. MTD stands true and functional on all aspects and shall be treated as Bill of Lading. It was stressed during the discussion that it can be implemented with government support and understanding.

Going forward, the key buzz is digitalisation and MTD has to be done digitally, the way the airway bills are done. All the panelists agreed that MTD needs to be accepted and evolved in today’s context.

As an important summary, it was made clear that MTD is a critical document and defines the end-to-end supply chain. Also, the 3 and 4PL operator needs to understand the liability clause the same way a shipper needs to understand what liability is expected, it was said.

Roles & relevance of intermediaries in future supply chain

Even with the evolving times and the digital revolution seen in the industry, SME forwarders have a bright future. The requirement is to adapt to technology and the needs of the customer to customise, and provide quality end-to-end services. In the future supply chain, customers would look forward to having value-added services over and above the movement of cargo.

SME intermediaries are ready to adapt to new technology and offer value, it was stressed.

The entire panel emphasised that intermediaries have a big role to play in the supply chain and should be provided with a level playing field in the context of the global logistics industry.

Mr Sivasailam appreciated the highly productive discussion and mentioned the things that would need to be worked on to facilitate the growth levels expected for the industry. He assured all support and expressed openness to accept the relevant proposals from AMTOI, said the release.


Source : Exim News Service - New Delhi, Dec. 1


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