During a recent business trip to Asia, a few of us from ICAT Logistics Detroit met with our Indian partners and suppliers who were very enthusiastic about the strength of the economy and the future of business there.
We’re planning to visit India later this year because we know the country is fast becoming a global leader in manufacturing, supply, technology and business services. The country’s annual economic growth in 2016 is expected to be at about 7.4 percent.
But what about the infrastructure? Can it stand up to the growing demands for cargo shipping?
Until recently there was doubt that India’s outdated infrastructure could withstand further pressure as industry expanded there. Unpassable roads and bridges, aging railways and insufficiently modern ports seemed to dominate the landscape.
But in 2016, the future is brighter there, too. The rapid development of roads, ports and air transport is making our business relationships in India even more attractive than they have ever been.
The national government, capitalizing on the opportunities for growth there, has recently introduced a public-private model for financing and developing highway, seaport and rail projects. The government reduces the financial burden these enormous projects place on lending institutions and builders by putting up 40 percent of the cost of the project during construction, linking the release of payments to the progress being made.
For example, the government has helped accelerate the much-needed road widening projects along the ever-congested National Highway 24 (NH 24) between the national capital Delhi and the Uttar Pradesh state capital, Lucknow. This project – which in some areas is 14 lanes wide — includes special limited entries and exits for long-haul truck traffic and supporting waste water and sewage treatment plants.
The country’s ambitious redevelopment of 400 rail stations is also supported in part by the national government and promises to help expedite the movement of goods from manufacturing centers to major ports.
In addition, since 2012 India has announced nearly 80 projects to improve its ports and expand and facilitate shipping.
At ICAT Logistics Detroit, we’re eager to see first-hand the progress being made in India. We share our Indian partners’ enthusiasm for the impact their country will have on the global supply and logistics business around the world in years to come.
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