The Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project, unveiled in July 2016 to make India’s logistics sector more efficient through the use of Information Technology, will soon expand operations to the country’s southern region.
So far, it had covered only the western logistics corridor.
The facility - where every container is attached to a Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID) tag and then tracked through RFID readers - aids importers and exporters in tracking their goods in transit.
This has, in turn, cut the overall lead time of container movement as well as reduced transaction costs that consignees and shippers incur.
It is billed as a major ‘ease of doing business’ initiative aimed at boosting India’s foreign trade and ensuring greater transparency.
The project covers “the entire movement (of containers) through rail or road till the Inland Container Depot and Container Freight Station.
The service integrates information available with the agencies across the supply chain to provide detailed, real-time information within a single window.
The LDB is being implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle called Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Logistics Data Services Ltd. (DLDSL).
This is jointly (50:50) owned by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Trust and Japanese IT services major NEC Corporation.
On July 1, 2016, the LDB project was launched at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Mumbai.
From May this year, its operations expanded to the container terminals at Adani Port Special Economic Zone, Mundra and Adani Hazira Port — both in Gujarat.
So far, in all, the DLDSL provides container tracking services to around 70% of the container traffic in India.
The services include providing users the ‘average delivery time’ as well as notifications through SMS and email.
About 3.88 million containers (1.87 million import containers and 2.01 million export containers) have been tagged and de-tagged under the project until now.
Initial discussions on the LDB project were held in May 2012.
Talks were held on a regulatory framework from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to ensure that all logistics players share data to make the project viable.
Later on, meetings were held between the DGFT, the shipping ministry and other stakeholders including the Tariff Authority for Major Ports regarding the regulatory framework on Mandatory User Charges (MUC) as well.
In November 2014, TAMP passed an order for levy of MUC for the project.