Understanding the Baltic Freight Index – Ocean Freight

Baltic Exchange based in London has created the Baltic Freight Index stands for shipping and trade index. Globally people in cross border trade use it as a measure of the cost of transporting various raw materials. The Baltic Exchange contacts the shipping companies, brokers directly for assessing price levels for a specific route, product, time and speed and a scientific aggregation of the same reflects in the Baltic Freight Index

The Baltic Freight Index is a combination of three sub-indices which seek to measure different sizes of merchant ships or dry bulk carriers, namely.

a) Capesize: these are the largest among all three in the BFI with the deadweight tonnage (DWT) of 100,000 or more. They basically transport coal and iron ore

b) Panamax: these are second in number and have a DWT of 60,000 to 80,000. They are used to transport coal, grains, sugar, cement etc.

c) Supramax: these are the smallest of all the ships with a capacity below 59,999 DWT. These have special loading and unloading equipment.

For decades the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) has been seen as a proxy of global supply and demand for staple commodities around the world. Loose raw materials like coal, steel, grain and minerals need huge ships to carry them across the world’s oceans from supplier to where the demand is.


Baltic Dry Index (BDI) has become an important economic indicator, a quick and easy way of taking estimating the intrinsic nature of the global economy by measuring the cost of dry bulk cargo ships.
However naysayers at times question its relevance. This is largely because as global trade increases cargo ships are getting much bigger. They carry far more stuff but take longer to build, creating a lag between shipping demand and supply.

This entails a shortage of available cargo ships when demand for commodities rallies, forcing shipping prices higher and faster than the underlying trend.
And it works in reverse, as commodities demand falls, the world is left with a glut of shipping capacity, worsening the slump in cargo ships prices. Therein one gets to see negative Ocean Freight rates

Despite this nuances, Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is still watched closely by investors and economists and people in the trade looking for a grip on world trade and its wider impact

Movers and Packers – Changing paradigm in India

Shifting or relocating a home, office, warehouse or plant has always been a challenging and daunting task. What with un-organised, unskilled and unreliable players wooing prospective shippers with collar shaped advertisements staring out of classified, stickers in the housing society stairwell, compound walls, trains, buses etc. Ultimately one would become gullible and call out to these personnel to take care of their shifting. What makes matters worse is competition offering lower rates and then leaving services tardy since they are unable to manage the task with the finalized quotes. Most of these players sub-contract the various parts of the job to unskilled workforce who use non compliant trucks with poor lashing to shift, thereby bringing in that much more element of risk in the assignment.

In recent times newer players understanding these challenges have launched solutions driven by technology, standard operating procedures and professional checks to ensure high quality in shifting.

Some of the advantages that these Online platform players offer are :
1. Simple booking procedure
Introduction of Technology has simplified shifting by enabling online booking of truck which could be done omni-channel either via a desktop, mobile APP or a Call to a unique number. Customer can key in details, upload details using their phone cameras to get the booking process completed.

2. Transparent pricing
Online platforms is a marketplace having aggregation of transporters and movers on board who are verified and validated by the platform. This enables clients to get a assortment of Freight quotes akin to an online RFQ process and helps them get the best rates. This facilitates Transparency in pricing .

3. Tracking
Trucks are enabled either with GPS-IOT and mobile GPS based tracking enabling the client to always be on top of the transportation independently. He is also alerted periodically via a SMS on the status of the load.

4. Packaging support
Safety of the belongings or articles is of paramount importance. Therefore these items have to be packed with utmost care and loaded and unloaded. This needs expert help and standardization. Clients need to have a proper discussion with the selected mover and packer to set expectation and pricing thereof.

5. Short term warehousing
There could be reasons either at the loading end or unloading end where there is a requirement of short term warehousing. The reasons could be climatic conditions, delay in possession of the premises, delay in formalities etc. Platforms like VALUESHIPR have the ability to offer short term warehousing facility for temporary storage

6. Professional consultation on special requirements
Special requirements on packing, loading and unloading due to the nature of articles, state formalities etc will need specialized knowhow. These requirements are easily managed by versatile platforms who are equipped to handle these requirements.

7. Simple payment methods
Payments can be made using the payment gateways on the platform or direct bank transfer which makes the overall experience very seamless.

18 months of GST Implementation, Reality check on-ground

In the recent GST council meeting on 24th Dec 2018, a large number of items classified under the 28% slab was rationalized to the 18% slab. From 225 items in the 28% slab where it began, it is now down to 30 in that category. The Finance minister said that the levy was fully in place and the first set of rate rationalization was complete. With the current rate cuts, he broadly indicated that the country will have only slabs of ‘zero’, 5% and a standard rate (between 12-18%) with luxury and sin goods as an exception.
While progressive and concerted efforts are being demonstrated by the government with the GST implementation, it is pertinent to really check what’s happening on the ground as regards to Logistics and Supply Chain. Is the dream of unified tax regime (one market one country) really being realized?

From a Logistics perspective, abolition of State level VAT, check-posts have markedly reduced the turnaround time in transportation. All the wastages resulting from long queues at state check posts, documentation time have been eliminated. This has improved efficiency and brought down costs. Eg. A road shipment by trailer from Chennai to Delhi earlier used to take 5-6 days and after GST the time of delivery has been truncated to 3-4 days (depending on speed and driver rotation in turns)

In the Warehouse sector, it was expected that GST implementation will see consolidation of warehouses. It has been observed that that warehouse consolidation has been happening from sector to sector depending on the on-ground nuances or requirements. Companies and Corporates have considered ‘product availability’ and ‘customer servicing’ as the key considerations while consolidating warehouses.

The implementation of E-way bill has been received positively by stakeholders in Logistics. It has helped organize, streamline and reduce paperwork due to digitization. While implementation of GST and E-way bill has come about with requirements of up-skilling, compliance and penalties, however the industry while looking at short term addition in costs have reposed faith in the Long term benefits that GST implementation would bring in.

Logistics in India is a fragmented and is handled by a large number of Freight forwarders and 3 PL players. Introduction of GST has compelled these players to register themselves and avail of the benefits of Input Tax credit thereby driving formalization in the sector.

The Auto sector is also wary on the requirements of larger sized trucks and trailer requirements that the change will bring about due to planned Logistic parks and warehouse consolidation. However, the vehicle sales numbers are yet to show the shift in the model preference as of now, however it’s an eventuality waiting to happen.

While there is some grief due to the pending or delayed release of Tax credits, since Logistics has players deploying upfront working capital and therefore capital cycles get very sensitive if delayed. Section 13 (3) dealing with Air cargo export is a bone of contention on the application of the tax and several suggestions have been put forth to the Finance ministry to accommodate a change to make India exports more effective.

How 3PL 4PL players can benefit out of Digital Logistics Platform

How 3PL / 4PL Logistics players can benefit from Digital Logistics Platform

An estimated 60% volumes in Logistics and Supply Chain activities in the country are managed by 3PL and 4 PL players.

A third-party 3PL logistics provider provides outsourced logistics services to companies. These services can make up part or sometimes all of their Logistics and supply chain management activities.

The 3PL activities include: Inventory storage and management, Picking and packing, Freight forwarding, Shipping/distribution, Customs brokerage, Contract management, IT solutions, Cross-docking etc.

A fourth-party 4PL logistics provider essentially takes third-party logistics a step further by managing resources, technology, infrastructure, and even manage external 3PLs to design, build and provide supply chain solutions for businesses.

4PL services typically encompass 3PL services as well as:

Analytics including transportation spend, analysis, capacity utilization, and carrier performance Logistics strategy, Freight sourcing strategies, Network analysis and design, Consultancy, Business planning, Change management, Project management, Control tower and network management services, coordinating a wide supplier base across many modes and geographies, Inventory planning and management, Inbound, outbound and reverse logistics management

To avail services of these players in the market make a lot of sense to Shippers, because they bring in the necessary expertise and help in close co-ordination and adherence to timelines and controlling costs.

However most of the players offering these services are Asset light and do not have captive Vehicle inventory and outsource it to service providers / transporters. Often it is observed that there is always a challenge when the vehicles are required to be placed thereby putting pressure on the delivery timelines.

An association with Digital platform like VALUESHIPR www. valueshipr.com helps 3PL & 4PL Logistics players to directly integrate with the Transporters, streamline, integrate and adhere to high service standards at optimum costs, in their business dealings.

Relocation – Top 3 Tips For Packing and Moving House

Relocation – Require Movers and Packers – Here are some tips !

Moving goods or relocation can be quite overwhelming or draining experience for people involved. Whether it is shifting current home or office or shifting machinery into new premises across cities, states or even internationally, requires great energy levels, oversight, thought and care.

At VALUESHIPR, jointly with our partners, we get involved in the process of planning out the entire activity to ensure that the activity is handled with care and at reasonable costs. Even for an expats coming into India or going out of the country the whole process needs specialised skills and the experience quiet daunting.

Suggested below are some steps, preparation that you need to follow for smooth and stress-free transition:

Plan Ahead-

Planning ahead of your move is absolutely essential. Needless to say, the most savvy mover does so months before the arranged date. Atleast 2 months before the planned date, start with informing Banks, Post offices, Chartered Accountants, Club Memberships, Credit Card companies, schools, tutions etc.

One month before the move, arrange for a pre-move survey. You may be moving into a larger property,but you will save a lot of time and effort if you scale down your material goods before you have to pack them up. Inspection will reveal a lot of redundant items. Any items you can’t bear to lose but aren’t currently being used, can be boxed up early.

Get packing materials (quality packing materials!) early on. Pack gradually to reduce stress. Label your boxes by room, colour code to make it easier, and of course, mark fragile items as such, with a “This side up” label.

Further, back up your personal computer, collect school records, collect international driver’s licence ( if needed), Purchase additional items that you wish to send in the shipment, sell car ( if needed), sell plants, furniture appliances or give it away. Visit doctor / dentist and obtain medical / dental records. Cancel magazine or newspaper subscriptions. Check If any dry Cleaning of clothes needed, Inform the telephone company and electricity / gas/ water authorities. Reduce/dispose of all frozen/perishable foods. Write a plan of action down and make sure everyone moving with you is aware and onboard.

Packing up the kitchen and unpacking the bedroom first

Packing kitchens is a tough act when trying to move home. There is heavy stuff, breakable things and lots of sharp items amongst other things. Pack before any other room, but leave out the kettle, toaster and anything that you will need on the day. Tea / coffee breaks are essential. Your fridge should have been emptied and switched off at least 24 hours before and throughly cleaned before moving.

Original packaging would be the best, if not, pack and protect all appliances as best you can. Bubble wrap all breakables, making sure glasses and cups are filled (newspaper will do). Always stack plates with a layer of protection between each, again enough newspaper to allow cushioning is fine.
Essentially bubble wrap the fine china. No sharp ends left unsheathed, no boxes packed improperly. Also mark heavy boxes as heavy.

Bedrooms are one of the most important rooms to unpack first because you will be using this before any other room is ready. Make sure the bed is where it should be, thereafter the kitchen, dining room, drawing room and bathroom can be sorted.

Some tips on Unpacking

Group pots and pans handles together. Use new boxes, especially for valuable and heavy items.
Pack in order of necessity eg; Vases before appliances, bookcases before beds. Have a bag of ‘on the day’ necessities ready. Teabags, Tissues, spare clothes; whatever you need while in transit. Make sure you label electronic appliances connections where it was unplugged from.

“FRAGILE”, “HEAVY”, “THIS SIDE UP”. At least one of these on every COLOUR CODED box (Red = Kitchen, Green = Bedroom, etc.). “ESSENTIAL” on the boxes that will assist in the moving in process. Cleaning items, detergents , towels etc. Things you need, you take for granted.

Plan your move for the middle for the week. In general, it costs more to move at weekends and it’s when most choose to do so, making a move date competitive. However, more planning is needed as help is harder to find during typical working hours. Rush hour can cause delays, therefore entry and exit in a city needs to be carefully thought through. But for low cost moving, Monday through Thursday is often best

Happy Moving

Marine Insurance


International or cross border trade has its beginnings in ancient times, whereby people began exploring distant lands in search of goods to barter or conquer new geographies. Besides moving by foot or horses, sea was one of the popular options used by people to traverse distant places.
However there were plenty of unforseen risks like bad weather, collision or attacks by sea pirates or robbers and the fatalities used to be very high. These perils ushered in one of the oldest forms of Insurance viz; Marine Insurance or now loosely called transit insurance which not only protected the Ship but also the cargo being transported.

Broadly there are three types of Marine insurance

  • 1) Cargo Insurance
  • 2) Freight Insurance
  • 3) Hull Insurance

Most of these policies have flexible underwriting process and are open policies, which can be customised.

Key Highlights:

  1. Marine insurance for Cargo Ships transporting Goods across the world
  2. Worldwide global coverage
  3. Marine Policy for Every Type of Goods Transported

  4. Packed or general Cargo:

    Packed cargo refers to break bulk (goods in boxes, crates, drums and on pallets), neo bulk (lumber, paper, cars and trucks) and unitized cargo (packed in containers)

    Unpacked or bulk cargo:

    Bulk cargo includes Liquid/Wet Bulk (petroleum, gasoline, LNG [Liquefied Natural Gas], liquid chemicals, Juice & Wine in tankers) and Dry Bulk (coal, grain, iron ore, bauxite & cement carried in bulk carrier)

  5. Marine insurance policies do provide extensions to provide protection against damages caused due to riots, strikes and other such perils

Covers Available :

  1. Import or export shipments.
  2. Goods which are being transported via sea, rail, air, road or post.
  3. Goods being transported by coastal vessels which ply between different ports inside the country.
  4. Goods which are transported via vessels plying along rivers.

Marine Insurance policy Exclusions:

  1. Routine wear and tear or ordinary leakage.
  2. Incorrect and inadequate packaging of goods being transported.
  3. Damage caused due to delay.
  4. Damage caused willfully or intentionally.
  5. Damage caused due to civil commotion, strikes, war, riot, etc.
  6. Any damage or loss occurring due to bankruptcy or financial default of the owner of the transport vessel.

On the VALUESHIPR (www.valueshipr.com) platform, we encourage all our Shipper or Cargo owners to avail of Marine Insurance during transportation of their goods. The premium in comparison to the Value of goods is very marginal. VALUESHIPR had deep relationships with Insurance providers which enables you to get Marine Insurance cover in a fraction of minutes, with few clicks. ( Register on www.valueshipr.com)Availing of Marine insurance brings safety, confidence and healthy business environment besides, peace of mind for all Shippers.

Peace of Mind Cargo & Goods Transportation, with Stress-Free Deliveries

Stress-free, peace of mind transportation using Online Truck freight booking platform
Individuals or enterprises or companies will at various points of time need to shift goods from one point to other. Whether it’s furniture, car, bike office goods, machinery or pallet could be daunting and stressful. Since this assignment is not of regular nature for most of us, we do not know the contours of shipping or transportation. Even small to medium enterprises with ambitions to move their finished goods or raw materials, often find the entire process very cumbersome. Digital transformation has enabled and empowered people with choices like never before. Some pioneering initiatives done by companies like VALUESHIPR are paving a path towards transforming Logistics and Supply chain sector. One could just go online (www.valueshipr.com) and book your freight, do a truck booking online, seek port to port freight rates sitting in the confines of his home or office.

Whether based in Mumbai, Delhi, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and many other towns, it would have been a tad difficult finding and requesting rates from individual transporters or freight forwarders, beyond all time consuming.

Just register and post your goods or cargo details on VALUESHIPR, you will be amazed to get competitive rates from dozens of transporters through a real-time online RFQ procedure. This helps you get a transparent and comparative freight quote. Now that’s not all

Understanding the five benefits that make transportation or shipping through VALUESHIPR the smartest, or safest way.

Verified and validated transporters:
Whether you’re shipping a piece of furniture, a car, finished goods, or something a little more unusual, like odd dimension heavy goods, safety of your goods are of paramount concern to you. It is well known that the transportation market in India is fragmented, unstructured and driven by brokers and therefore there is a very unhealthy level of trust prevalent. We have aggregated our transport associates after carrying out verification and validation of the truck owners and also pertinent to mention that they have been tested on multiple routes on assignments. Therefore you can be more at peace when you transport your goods with ValueShipr

Best Transportation Rates:
We are a neutral marketplace and therefore the Freight Bids that you receive is transparent and allows you to compare the Freight cost. Also you stand to benefit due to the large pool of transporters in the geo-fenced location or the ‘return’ truck headed to your destination sought by you giving you a highly competitive rate. The Platform allows you to place a SPOT, CONTRACT and TO PAY mode of transaction for your goods transportation and is one of its kind. Payments can me made in a very hassle free manner using the payment gateway, UPI or direct Bank Transfer. Also the payments that you make is not released to the transporter until there is a confirmation that your shipment has been safely delivered.

Efficiency & Optimization:
Beyond Load to Truck matching, geo-location, there are multiple intervention points where advanced technologies like Machine Learnings and AI have been used for route optimization, appropriate usage of volumetric space, expected delivery times ensuring high degree of compliance for the throughput.

Logistics Team Support:
An able professional Logistics operations team is continually monitoring and is standing by to help in the unlikely event that if anything goes wrong. The team involves in on any issues and offers hands-on assistance to resolve all kinds of transportation or shipping issues. The Valueshipr GPS- IOT Tracking systems helps in getting a all round visibility of the shipment for Shippers. eg; If a truck breakdown occurs, you’ll have access to our expansive network of alternate transportation and help and get your shipment delivered at no additional costs.

Most carriers already carry some level of insurance, but for your own peace of mind, purchasing additional cargo transit insurance is highly recommended. Booking through VALUESHIPR, you can get your Marine / transit Insurance at very low-cost, all with few clicks during the booking process.
To get started, just create your first booking visit www.valueshipr.com . You can sit back, watch the quotes roll in, take an informed decision, and ship your goods with peace of mind.

The future of Logistics and SupplyChain In India

#Reforms #Investments #Infrastructure #Technology #Transformation
The Government in the last few months took some bold decisions to implement the GST (One nation, one market) reforms, announcing Infrastructure status for Logistics sector liberalizing FDI investments and further committing investments in the infrastructure , railways, road, ports and waterways. All these decisions will have far reaching impact on this sector and spur growth. Ambitious programmes like “ Make in India” will force rethink on the existing supply Chain network.

Bharatmala is one of the biggest highway construction projects in India in history.It is the second largest highways construction project in the country since NHDP, under which almost 50,000 km or highway roads were targeted across the country. Bharatmala will look to improve connectivity particularly on economic corridors, border areas and far flung areas with an aim of quicker movement of cargo and boosting exports.

It includes economic corridors of around 9,000 km, inter-corridor and feeder routes of around 6,000 km, 5,000 km roads under the National Corridors Efficiency Program, border and international connectivity roads of around 2,000 km, coastal and port connectivity roads of around 2,000 km, expressways of around 800 km and 10,000 km of NHDP roads. The total length in phase 1 comes to around 34,800 km.

Bharatmala project has started in Gujarat and Rajasthan, followed by Punjab and subsequently traversing the Himalayan belt through Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur (next to the Indo-Burmese border) and then to Mizoram. Northeastern states have been given special focus in the project and international trade is a key aspect as well

The Sagarmala project a critical government initiative focusses on modernising existing ports, and will develop new ones at Paradip Outer Harbor (Odhisha state), Cuddalore/Sirkazhi (Tamil Nadu state), Belikeri (Karnataka state), Enayam (Tamil Nadu state), and Vizhinjam (Kerala state). Cumulatively, these ports will manage almost 100 percent more trade volume by 2025.

DP World (Dubai) signed onto a US$3 billion (Rs 195 billion) joint investment platform with India’s ‘National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’ to construct several sea as well as river ports, among other logistics projects.

The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and Development Corporation (DMICDC) has awarded companies over US$2.3 billion (Rs 150 billion) in contracts for the development of multimodal logistics hubs or parks in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and the National Capital Region (NCR). Further they are in the process of granting another US$1.5 billion (Rs 102 billion) in contract packages for construction of the same in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

The proposed hubs in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and the NCR will provide end-to-end supply chain services, such as small processing facilities (grading and packaging) and final delivery and transport services.

Plans to improve regional connectivity through road, rail, and inland waterways are already ongoing. India’s 2018 budget saw the highest fiscal allocation for infrastructure spend, at about US$95 billion (Rs 6 trillion).

The National Highway Authority of India has a bidding process underway for companies to invest in highways across India. Dubai based investment firms have already bid close to US$9 billion (Rs 585 billion) for nine highways. This also drives in increase in accountability for the upkeep of these roads and will reduce road travel times.

Freight corridors: The country’s freight corridors, covering 15 states all over India, are set to be complete by December 2019. Currently, a train carrying cargo travels at the rate of 25 kmph; on these railway lines, trains will be able to reach speeds between 70 and 100 kmph, and will carry double the quantity of cargo. The Nhava Sheva – Indore Private Railway corridor is one such project which will reduce the time and bring huge reduction in Logistics cost.

Warehousing and Storage:
India allowed 100 percent FDI in the development and maintenance of warehousing and storage facilities. Under the Free Trade Warehousing Zone (FTWZ) Scheme, there are several designated zones in India reserved for warehouse development. Panvel near Mumbai, Khurja near New Delhi, and Sri City in Chennai, are some of the designated FTWZs. The connectivity of these zones with major railways, roads, airways, and ports is well established. Incentives such as duty free import of building materials and equipment for these zones are attracting investments to this sector.

As in every sector Technology is making a paradigm shift and causing disruption within the Supply Chain and Logistics sector in India as well. Large Logistics players in India who have been acquainted and using Order Management systems, SAP, ERP or Transportation Management Systems (TMS), Warehouse Management systems (WMS) are now experiencing newer technology frontiers like IOT (internet of things), Cloud computing, Big Data and Data Analytics, Blockchain, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

These technologies are being unleashed and juxtaposed within Logistics framework deriving much needed transparency, tracking, efficiency, speed in deliveries and cost economics.

Technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence applied to data analytics can deliver dynamic routing, optimization and other efficiencies. Through these technologies, companies can get real-time data and ensure optimal first mile, middlemile and last mile connectivity.

Automation is helping in reshaping the workforce. Some of the logistics companies are labour intensive but they are becoming partially automated, removing obstacles in documentation, loading, unloading and adjusting routes.

IoT is improving supply chain transparency, safety and efficiency. Adoption of Big data analytics, will improve customer experience and operational efficiency. The companies will be able to have better control on inventory and improve predictive analytics. These tools identifies variations, patterns, correlate to offer actionable insights

Data analytics in Transportation is being used to enhance reliability, route optimisation, last mile delivery optimisation, optimal vehicle utilisation and saving on fuel costs.

Data Analytics in Warehousing is being tested with a combination of IOT practises to harness in operational efficiencies, productivity, inventory optimisation, demand planning and scheduling helping firms to get significant benefits.

Some companies are also adopting blockchain technologies for contracting, to enhance supply chain security etc. Also some e-commerce companies have ventured into adopting robotics in their warehousing and also experimenting with drones.

ValueShipr has been connecting Transporters with Cargo-owners on its multimodal Logistics Technology platform with a combination of technologies like Cloud, IOT, ML and Automation delivering value to stakeholders.

Logistics performance Index -2018 – All is not Well with INDIA slipping on the League Table

“India jumps 19 places in the World Bank Logistics Index “ screamed the headlines carried by the mainstream media and the business publications when the last rankings were published in Jun 2016. From Rank 54, India catapulted to the 35th rank in the report published every two years. Every one involved in administration, economics, trade saw this acknowledgement as a huge positive impact and was confident that all policies and investments being made were in the right direction. This indicator was used all through 2017 to project the “Ease of doing business in India” showcasing the government’s progressive development stand. The enthusiasm also paved way to introduce the Statewise Logistics performance index, a first time in the country. However this was shortlived

Circa July 2018, when World Bank published the Logistics Performance Index 2018, India has slipped from the 35th position to the 44th position! Shocking ! What would have happened.!

Logistics is a $4.3 trillion Industry globally. It is the backbone of trade and good logistics can reduce trade cost and make countries compete globally. Getting logistics right, means improving infrastructure, skills, customs and regulations, policies and governance at the right proportion.

Lets understand what comprises the World Bank, Logistics performance Index :

The logistics performance (LPI) is the weighted average of the country scores on the six key dimensions:

  1. Efficiency of the clearance process (i.e; speed, simplicity and predictability of formalities) by border control agencies, including customs.
  2. Quality of trade and transport related infrastructure (e.g., ports, railroads, roads, information technology);
  3. Ease of arranging competitively priced shipments;
  4. Competence and quality of logistics services (e.g., transport operators, customs brokers);
  5. Ability to track and trace consignments;
  6. Timeliness of shipments in reaching destination within the scheduled or expected delivery time.

Find the comparison between the two reports:-

Report is published every two years by the World Bank

Almost all seven parameters that go into building the Index, has dropped for India. Now this is startling for the fact that in the last 24 months some of the key initiatives from the government in the area of Core infrastructure and logistics has been unleashed. The biggest reform in the form of GST “ One country one market” was implemented in 2017. This is considered the harbinger of reforms that would be actually propelling and smoothening the Logistics infrastructure across the country. Logistics sector was accorded Infrastructure status, paving way for development funds and priority in decisions.

The Government introduced several important measures to develop Infrastructure in the country, with the allocation of Rs. 5.35 lakh crore to develop 35,000km under phase-I of the Bharatmala road project, electrification of railway tracks, focus on high-speed trains, the Sagarmala programme and by actively working on e-mobility solutions for clean and cost-effective mobility. The initiative to set-up National Logistics Portal as a single online window to link all stakeholders will also give a big digital push and streamline the functioning of the Logistics sector. Another significant development is the Rs. 2.4 lakh crore towards development of smart cities that will give a uniform development across the nation.

The road sector has attracted private investments with new measures like the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM), Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) model, improved land acquisition process, the launch of masala bonds and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) besides other initiatives. The Indian Railways has gained traction with a handsome budget allocation of 1.48 lakh crores furthering investment potential in areas such as elevated rail corridor in Mumbai, some parts of dedicated freight corridor, freight terminals, redevelopment of stations and power generation/energy saving projects. The introduction of Sagarmala programme, Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016 and the ‘Landlord port’ model have all been instrumental in giving a boost to the Ports & Shipping sector. The initiative of DPD Direct Port to door by JNPT has further eased the congestion at the port paving way for better efficiency and throughput. Several Logistics parks have been initiated across vital centres.

The Road ministry’s impetus on coastal and hinterland roads, objective to complete 300 road projects by 2019 , per day road construction moving from 8km to 22 km and targeting 40 kms is also very un-precedented.

All these buzz and activities in India, seems to have had no baring on the Task project team from the World Bank entrusted with publishing the Logistics performance Index. Have they been biased?

Maybe the reality of projects taking shape to give overall benefit at the ground level will still take some time. Until then, India needs to take cue and step on the accelerator for improvement

BestTransportationCost BestFreightCost – Tip – Online Transportation Platforms

Festival times are around the corner in India and elsewhere in the world. August through December witnesses some of the highest goods and cargo being shipped across to consumption points. The goods from raw material to the finished goods may see multiple modes of handling before it is eventually consumed. Manufacturers, distributors and logistics companies are constantly looking at most cost effective, efficient methods to transfer the goods to their destinations.

Shippers from Mumbai may be seeking Best transportation costs to Delhi, Bangalore , Chennai Hyderabad or Ahmedabad or even NhavaSheva from their warehouse facility at Bhiwandi, Thane, Navi Mumbai,Taloja or Kalamboli. Cargo-owners could also be looking for Best transportation costs from Gurgaon, ICD tuglaqbad, Dadri to places like Delhi Airport, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Indore or the NCR region.

India has a transportation model heavily leaning on Road mode. The sector is highly fragmented and has huge dependencies on Broker network. As a result there is huge opaqueness, non transparent pricing, very low trust, poor commitment levels and absence of professionalism. All these leads to poor accountabilities.

The advent of digitization and internet economy has ushered in the shared or network economy business models. Manufacturers, distributors or Logistics companies can now leverage the Online Truck or Trailer booking services either to fulfill their First Mile, Last Mile or Middle Mile requirements by just registering on platforms like www.valueshipr.com and with few clicks or swipe, get a whole new hassle free experience in transportation. The platform uses technology to flank locations with Supply, match demand, orchestrate the throughput movement by providing visibility of shipment with tracking, automated documentation and Proof of delivery. Technologies like Cloud, Big data, IOT, AI and payments help bring in this transformation. All these with excellent backup of responsible Logistics team who ensures quality, timely deliveries and efficiency of cost savings.

This platform is a boon for a wide cross section of clients from a small entrepreneur to medium and large scale companies. One can effect ‘Spot’, ‘contract’ and ‘To pay’ assignments with Valueshipr.

The payments for the assignments can be made Online using Payment Gateway or direct Bank Transfer.

From small parcels to cargo, containers, relocation to ODD dimension large project shipments are transported by VALUESHIPR . Being a multimodal platform one could look at a complete solution for EXIM requirements as well. These initiatives are helping smart clients to now be assured of high quality of Logistics services.

#Unravel #Finance and #BorrowingOptions for #Logistics & #SupplyChainbusiness

Operating a Logistics or Supply Chain business can be quite taxing and a complex affair. Stakeholders in logistics such as Transporters, Warehouse owners, Packaging setups, 3PL / 4PL Players, freight forwarders, Consolidators, material handling suppliers, will need to access finance, borrow or raise capital for their day to day operations, expansions and new business commitments.

This can be quite a daunting and overwhelming task in itself. Selecting superior Logistics Finance solutions, however, can relieve the stress of the financial demands, which allows businesses to focus on business. However it is common knowledge that Business Leaders or entrepreneurs do not have the wherewithal to understand the best finance options with the most innovative solutions.

From small to medium to large enterprises the requirements could vary and therefore palpable that most times expert help is drawn to execute the requirements. In India one would turn to Banks, NBFCs, Financial Institutions, High net worth Individuals HNIs, Private Equity, Venture Capital Funds, Global Financial Institutions, Start-up funds etc.

In the current markets, banks can provide relatively low-cost capital to help finance a company’s growth. These options include operating leases, capital leases, and term loan purchase financing. Banks that operate equipment finance and commercial vehicle finance divisions can provide a full array of financing options, revolving credit facilities to fit the client’s needs.

(The attempt here is to put out a primer for awareness as to what options could the enterprise seek out for raising capital for their business growth)

Some of the Financial Products that could be leveraged by Logistics stakeholders are :

Hire Purchase Loans:- Spread the cost over time
Hire Purchase enables you to acquire an asset while paying for it in installments over an agreed timescale – the term. At the end of the term, you have the option to purchase the asset outright.
Far more flexible than a conventional loan, Hire Purchase lets you spread the cost of your investment over the life of the asset, making it easier to budget. Hire Purchase is particularly suitable for acquiring vehicles.

Refinancing:- When you need a cash injection
Refinancing is a quick way to access the value of assets on your existing balance sheet and redeploy that value elsewhere within your business – for example, to fund a deposit on new equipment or unlock some working capital to ease cash flow

Invoice Discounting:
Invoice Discounting is an alternate finance solution for businesses to unleash the power of Invoices.
In essence, it means you can sell your invoice at a discount and use that money for the smooth functioning of your business operations.

Invoice discounting can help fund the Logistics & Transportation industry by freeing up cash sitting in unpaid invoices. The dependency on unpredictable and fluctuating factors makes it all the more necessary for organizations to have a strong cash flow system. Factors like increased competition, tighter margins, longer & delayed payment cycle, payment defaults only add on to the many challenges that one could face.

Working Capital Loans:

Overdraft Facility and Credit Line- Here the borrower only pays for the interest applicable to the amount that has been overdrawn. The rates are typically set between 1 and 2 percent above the prime rate of the bank.

Short term Loans- A short term loan comes with a fixed interest rate and payment period. The loan repayment period is typically 12 months. Among all types of working capital loans, this particular credit facility is usually secured.

Account Receivable Loans- Another way to secure working capital is by applying for loans that take into consideration the accounts receivable, or confirmed sales order value of your company. This type of debt is ideal if your company lacks funds to fulfill a sales contract or order

Trade Creditor- A loan that is provided by a present or potential supplier is called a trade creditor working capital loan.

Factoring- Cash advances are made basis the sale of future logistics company revenue (at a discount to the factoring company) in return for immediate financing.

Buyer’s credit (BC)
Buyer’s credit is a loan facility extended to an importer by a bank or financial institution to finance the purchase of capital goods or services and other big-ticket items. Buyer’s credit is a very useful mode of financing in international trade, since foreign buyers seldom pay cash for large purchases, while few exporters have the capacity to extend substantial amounts of long-term credit to their buyers

Letter of Credit (LC)
A letter of credit is a letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. In the event that the buyer is unable to make payment on the purchase, the bank will be required to cover the full or remaining amount of the purchase.

Bank Guarantee (BG)
A bank guarantee is a guarantee from a lending institution ensuring the liabilities of a debtor will be met. In other words, if the debtor fails to settle a debt, the bank covers it. A bank guarantee enables the customer, or debtor, to acquire goods, buy equipment or draw down loans, and thereby expand business activity

Packing Credit:
Packing credit is basically a loan provided to exporters or sellers to finance the goods’ procurement before shipment. The bank will make the funds available to a letter of credit issued favoring the seller and a confirmed order for selling the goods or services.

Warehouse Finance
Warehouse financing allows companies to borrow money using inventory as collateral, and often on better, more flexible terms than other forms of short-term financing. In many cases, borrowers can keep the collateral inventory in their existing warehouses, and the lenders often require them to separate the collateral inventory from the rest of the inventory with a fence and signage

Warehouse receipt Finance:
It is sometimes called “inventory credit”. It allows clients, such as farmers, traders, processors and others, to deposit commodities in a secure warehouse against a receipt certifying the deposit of goods of a particular quantity, quality and grade

The above listed loans may not be an exhaustive list and will have many variants and customised options available. The Rate of Interest ROI will vary depending on the Interest rate regime, clients credit risk and repayment ability and also the institution that is lending. Credit ratings from bureau are also referred to whilst sanctioning loans.

Feel free to write to us or call us for more details.

Understanding Freight Forwarders and NVOCCs

Activity FF NVOCC
    Freight Forwarders Non Vessel Owning Common Carrier
Shipper/Carrier Acts as agent to/for the shippers Acts as carrier to the shippers and shipper to the carriers
Associations Most recognized and global forwarders belong to an association of freight forwarders called FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations)which is considered to be the global voice of freight logistics There are no such associations for NVOCCs on a global basis while there may be some localized groupings in different countries.
Shipping documentation Issues their own bill of lading and other shipping documents which is generally based on standardized documentation created by FIATA Issues their own bill of lading which may or may not be based on any global standard.
Containers Uses shipping lines containers and does not own or operate containers Some of the big NVOCCs own and operate their own fleet of containers
Warehouses Some of the big freight forwarders own and operate their own warehouses as a value-added service to their other shipping services Do not generally own and operate their own warehouses, however there are some big NVOCCs who also double up as freight forwarders (Expeditors International for example)
Networks There are several freight forwarder networks around the world who co-operate as network partners on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis in handling cargo all over the world Some of the big NVOCCs appoint agents at various ports pretty much like how shipping lines appoint agents at various ports to handle their commercial and operational requirements, especially those that own and operate containers
Agents/Partners May act as an agent for NVOCC Very rare to find an NVOCC acting as an agent for a freight forwarder
Liabilities Traditional forwarders are covered under freight forwarders liability as set out in the FIATA terms and conditions Traditional NVOCCs are covered under carrier liability as set out in the FIATA terms and conditions

Unboxing the Undisputed Beast on the roads #Trucks #Trailers

As truck upon truck hurtled along the highways carrying cargo or goods from one location to other, one would have wondered what would have been the history of the this workhorse “ the Truck”. To understand the history of Trucking, it is necessary to look under the hood and delve into the past to actually appreciate the journey and the legacy.

Well you guessed it right, the first modern truck was indeed pioneered and invented in the late 19th century in the seat of innovation then, Germany by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz in 1895-96. These gentlemen thereafter also went forward and innovated the first motorcycle and the first taxi. The first pickup truck invented by these gentlemen was an internal combustion two cylinder four horsepower engine and a belt drive, with two forward gears and and one reverse powered by gasoline. It is pertinent to know the ancestor of all these innovation was the steam powered wagons invented in 1769 by Nickolas- Joseph Cugnot.

Diesel driven trucks though invented in 1897, became much accepted after the 1930s in Europe and 1970s in the Americas.

It is estimated, the word “truck” might come from a back-formation of “truckle”, meaning “small wheel” or “pulley”, from Middle English trokell, in turn from Latin trochlea.

The essential components of a truck are ‘the engine’, ‘the Frame’, ‘the Drive train’ and ‘the Cabin’. Diesel engines with turbo chargers and coolers have become the engines of choice. Compressed natural gas engines have also made significant inroads in the developed countries especially owing to low cost, near zero emissions and their environmental impact. The latest breakthrough in trucking is the “driverless truck” introduction and testing being done by some trendsetting companies. This could again alter the entire ecosystem in a very significant manner in the days to come. Globally the highest limits on the length of the truck carriage/outback for fixed is 82 Feet and for a road train (with puller formation) is 176 feet and the weight carrying limits could be 62.5 Tons to 172 tons respectively. In India it is 55 feet on fixed basis regulations.

Since trucks are bigger and heavier than most of the vehicles and their drivers generally ply them on the roads for more hours per day, they cause more wear and tear of the paved roads. The life of the paved roads is measured by the number of vehicle axles that pass over them for a defined period. The Load Equivalency factor that is used to determine the damage caused by the pass of a vehicle axle is proportional to the 4th power of weight. So a 10 ton axle truck causes 10,000 times more damage as compared to a 1 ton axle truck. Hence the Trucks are subjected to higher taxes and highway tolls in comparison to say cars.

The top 5 Truck manufacturers in the world are :
1) Daimler AG – German
2) Volvo group – Swedish
3) Dongfeng Motor – Chinese
4) Volkswagon group – German
5) Tata Group – India.

Some of the earliest trucks that were introduced on the Indian Roads were the Dodge Fargo P6 series. These Trucks were the ” Kew ” design Trucks from the Dodge Factory in Kew, Surrey. Hence the name ‘ Kew Dodge ‘.The Kew trucks used Perkins engines in the UK and it was prudent to use the Perkins P6 Diesels here in India due to the hot tropical climate. The Trucks were manufactured by Premier Auto at their Kurla plat around 1947 and were badged ‘Fargo’ ‘Dodge’, and ‘DeSoto’, with Fargo being the brand for trucks sold by Plymouth dealers. Around the same time Hindustan Motors (Birla) another company introduced the Bedford trucks and Ashok Motors began the assembly of Leyland trucks, and with the company eventually concentrating on the business of making trucks, it was renamed as Ashok Leyland. After Tata Motors or erstwhile TELCO and Ashok Leyland commenced CV manufacturing in mid 1950s, customer preference soon shifted towards them and sale of CVs made by PAL and Hindustan Motors (which were initially sold under “Bedford” brand and later as “Hindustan”) dropped significantly and eventually shut down in 1979.

Much later one of the most defining moments was the introduction of the Tata 2213, a 22 tonne GVW multi axle (3 axle) heavy commercial vehicle, still acknowledged as the game changer in the industry. Today various configurations of trucks on the Indian roads range from from the light to heavy categories viz; pick-ups, LCVs, single axle and multi axle variations of trucks across weight carrying configurations, refrigerated trucks, trailers, pullers with hydra axles.

Some of the Indian manufacturers who have significant units in operations in India are Tata, Ashok Leyland, Eicher, MAN, Bharat Benz, AMW, Hino, Volvo, Mahindra and Force motors.
Manufacturers are also gearing up on new technologies like telematics and electric vehicles. The new paradigm that’s also seeping in steadily, organizing, building efficiencies is the advent of technology platform like valueshipr, which offers Shippers an array of Trucks and transportation choices. 60% of India’s transportation requirements are met by Road movement. India has close to 1.6 Cr transporters and about 45mn trucks plying and vying for 1325+ btkm volume of load in India.

So the next time we see this massive beast swooping down on the roads and disappearing from sight, take a moment to wallow on this small snippet of history.

For your goods and Cargo transportation requirements, book truck online by downloading the VALUESHIPR APP or visit www.valueshipr .com / call 8655012255.

Understanding Container Markings

Personnel working in the Logistics sector or even layman looking at Trailers carrying containers would be intrigued with the series of numbers, alpha numeric numbers and markings on containers. It is however important for people in the Logistics and supply chain network to get a hang of these markings and what they denote. It is pertinent that all stakeholders handling containers like consignors, consignee, CHAs, warehouse personnel, packagers, EXIM personnel understand these markings for smooth and seamless day to day operations.

  1. Container Number – It is an alpha numeric sequence made up of 4 Alphabets and 7 Numbers. This number is unique to a container and is never duplicated.

    The container number identification system has been created by the International Standards Organisation under their code IS06346:1995(E).

    As per this code, the container identification system consists of:-

    Owner code – 3 letters (eg. CMACGM, MAE – Maersk)
    The owner code is unique to the owner of the container and the registration of this code rests with Bureau International des Containers et du Transport Intermodal (BIC).

    4th letter : category – 1 letter (in our example, U denoting a freight container. Other categories being J for detachable container related equipment (such as Genset) and Z for trailers and chassis).

    Serial number – 6 numbers (numbers ONLY)

  2. Check Digit – 1 number (numbers ONLY)

    This owner code is registered with the Bureau International des Containers et du Transport Intermodal (BIC).

  3. Check Digit — It’s the last digit of the container number listed above. This number is used to identify if the container number sequence is valid or not.
  4. ISO Code – International Standards Organisation under their code IS06346 gives each container type a unique ISO Code in order to avoid any ambiguity in identifying the size and type of container.
  5. MAX. GW – Max Gross Weight indicates the maximum weight that the container can carry. Gross weight includes the tare weight of the container.
  6. TARE – This is the tare weight which is the weight of an empty container. This is an important weight to be considered by all ship operators and planners as this weight needs to be included when container stowage planning is done.
  7. MAX. CW or Max. Payload – The maximum weight of the cargo that can be packed in the container. This is the weight that is shown on the bill of lading and it DOES NOT INCLUDE THE TARE WEIGHT OF THE CONTAINER. Shippers must pay special attention to ensure this weight is not exceeded when calculating the weight of the cargo.
  8. CU.CAP. or Cube – The maximum volume in the cubic capacity of the container.
  9. CSC, ACEP & Other Certifications – Every legal and in-service container will have a valid safety approval plate called CSC (Container Safety Convention) plate in accordance with the International Convention on Safe Containers of 1972.
  10. Classification society label for type testing – This label shows the classification society that has tested and certified this container for strength, cargo worthiness, and seaworthiness.

How should Logisticians deal with Transporter Strikes

In a democracy, every citizen or institution can exercise their fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression in a non violent manner. Citizens may feel disgruntled due to governmental policies, administrative issues, basic infrastructure requirements, social requirements etc. The common methodology adopted by individuals or group of people, association of people is to announce STRIKE, whereby they try and highlight the unfair or unjust issue that has left them aggrieved.
Transporters bodies have called for a nationwide strike with a charter of demands.

STRIKES paralyse a growing economy like INDIA. This doesn’t augur well for India to reach its targeted GDP growth.

Logisticians must practice a set of Do’s and don’ts in this challenging period:

  1. Priority should be given to safeguard life and goods while planning out logistics: It is very important to have reliable & intelligent vendors to cater to your transportation needs during a national transport strikes, as the requirement of goods at some facility or point of consumption would be acutely needed to ensure minimal downtime.
  2. Ply on routes with least hassles: Route planning is very important to ensure the cargo reaches safely. Stay away from toll booths, major highways, ports & more frequented roads. Stay away from notorious routes.
  3. Cautious & Reliable Driver: If the driver sees or senses any trouble ahead, it is wise for him to park the truck on the side of the road.. Strikers will usually leave them alone. A driver should also be able to tactfully handle these situations to ensure the truck, cargo & his safety are not jeopardized. A reliable driver is always worth the extra freight.
  4. Don’t keep a deadline for vehicle placement & delivery: At these times, it is safer to keep your cargo within your premises rather in transit. If transit is utmost required, give the transporter & driver leeway to act according to the current situation. It is wise not to pressure them to reach within a specific time.
  5. Wee hour driving: Driving after sun down & before 10am is preferable.
  6. Parking vehicles: It is wise to park vehicles at parking locations which are under lock & key and where safety can be assured.
  7. Convoy: Safety in numbers is your best bet. Transporters should ensure all their trucks move together during such instances, making it difficult for trouble makers to single out a particular vehicle.

We sincerely hope your transportation is safe and secure!

Click on the link to find out more: http://www.valueshipr.com/

Click the link to register & search for transporters for free: https://rc-cargo.valueshipr.com/login;redirect=dashboard

E Way Bill – How To Create an E Way Bill Through Valueshipr

The Government has made the E-way bill mandatory for all inter-state movement of goods over Rs.50,000/-, from the 1st February 2018. A consignment not having an E-way Bill along with it during transit may get detained for not complying with the laws.

There is a big debate on how to prepare it & who is responsible for generating it.
The below article will help all logistics personnel & logistics companies generate e-way bills with minimum effort

Currently, The Government has given permission only to consignor, consignee & transporter to log into the e-way bill portal & generate the e-way bill. The consignor , consignee & transporter needs to have a GSTIN / URP to register on the portal.

Shippers like SMEs, Manufacturers, Engineering companies, FMCGs, traders have been using the ValueShipr portal to generate their E-Way bills effortlessly.

How it Works:

  1. ValueShipr is a registered Transporter on the E-way bill portal
  2. Through an API connection it connects to the E-Way bill portal avoiding duplication of work.
  3. Your E-way bill is generated & you can opt to Print / Email it.

How to Create an E- Way Bill through ValueShipr :

  1. Book a truck on ValueShipr
  2. Enter the invoice details OR/AND Upload your invoice on the portal.
  3. Within minutes, your E-way bill & LR will be generated & emailed to you.
E Way bill Example

Click to Login & Generate your E-way bill today!!

E-Way Bill:: De-Mystifying the Filing requirements

Under the new GST regime, the new frontier for Transportation and Logistics “E-way bill” is set out to be rolled out effective 1st February 2018. The e-way bill is a key element of GST, aimed at creating a common market and consolidating an array of state taxation. One e-way bill is valid for end to end movement nationally, thereby doing away with multiple state permits /e-way bill that existed earlier.

An e-way bill is required for movement of goods worth more than Rs.50,000/- invoice value. This is compulsory effective 1st February 2018 for all inter-state truck movements. For intra state goods movement, it is required for transport beyond 10 km. Fifteen states have agreed to implement it for intra state goods (sales) movement as well. Nonetheless , intra state e-way bill will be compulsory from June 1st, 2018

With multiple stakeholders involved in the movement of goods – Consignor, Consignee, and Transporter who should be generating the E-way bill?

The E-way bill ‘Form EWB-01’ contains two parts. Part-A contains the details of the consignment and Part-B contains the vehicle number in which the goods are transported.

Who should furnish the details in Part-A and Part-B of Form EWB-01?

The responsibility to generate the E-way bill differs according to business scenarios. For eg, you may transport the goods on your own vehicle or you may hand over the goods to the transporter and so on. Please find below; the responsibility to generate E-way bill under different business scenarios:

Business Scenario Who Should Generate E-way Bill Furnishing of Details on EWB-01 – Part-A or Part-B
Goods are transported by consignor using his own vehicle Consignor Both Part-A and Part-2 needs to filed by Consignor
Goods are transported by consignor in a hired vehicle or railways or by Air * or Sea * Consignor Both Part-A and Part-B needs to filed by Consignor
Goods are transported by the consignee in his own vehicle Consignee Both Part-A and Part-B needs to filed by Consignee
Goods are transported by consignee in a hired vehicle or railways or by Air or Vessel Consignee Both Part-A and Part-B needs to filed by Consignee
Consignor (Registered) hands over the goods to a transporter (registered) Transporter The Consignor will furnish the details in PART-A and Transporter will furnish PART-B
Goods are transported by Consignor (unregistered) in his own vehicle or hired vehicle to the Consignee who is registered Consignee The Consignee will furnish the details in PART-A and Transporter will furnish PART-B. However, at his option, an unregistered consignor can also generate E-way bill.
Consignor (unregistered) hands over the goods to a transporter. This is to be supplied to a Consignee (Registered) Transporter The Consignor will furnish the details in PART-A and Transporter will furnish PART-B. However, at his option, an unregistered Consignor can also furnish the details in PART-A of EWB-01.
* GST Exemption for Transportation of goods from India to a place outside India (Exports) by air or sea until 30th September 2018

The e-way bill mechanism has been introduced in the GST regime to plug tax evasion loopholes. To ensure ease of doing, GSTN has linked e-way bill with filing.

Industry concerns:

  • Glitches in the portal
  • Delay due to vehicle breakdown or stoppage by state officials.

The GSTN department has clarified that consignor or transporter will be able to report delays of more than 30 minutes in an online form and file the same by reference to the invoice number.

Additionally Companies / consignors have been given the option of uploading their invoices when they get their e-way bills, which would directly be filed with GSTR1.

Since the advent of testing of the e-way bill from 16th January 18, ValueShipr (www.valueshipr.com) has been generating e-way bills and is ready for the change.

You can call 8655012255 for your transportation needs with support on e-way bill.

Strategies to Increase Revenue in Truck Services – Valueshipr


Trucks have played a very important role in helping connect and transport goods across countries and aids geographies develop and become prosperous. One cannot deny that this movement has helped habitation, regional development and distribution of income and resources and possibly bridge the divide between urban and rural.

Road and rail transport carries, over more than 70% of inland freight volume. For example in India over 52% shipments happen by road and 34% by rail. Over 7000btkm ( billon tonne kilometer) of goods are transported each year by road in the EU, USA, CIS, China and Japan alone.

Road freight transport directly creates a lot of jobs – 6.5 million in the EU and nearly 9 million in
the USA and over 20 million in India. This does not include jobs in truck-related industries, such as vehicle manufacturing, repairs, retail, leasing, or insurance, nor the millions of other jobs that depend on trucks to supply and distribute goods.

What needs to be noted is the optimal efficiency for trucking companies, is not how many trucks you have, not how many drivers you employ or branches you have, not how much warehouse space you have, but how effectively you are using those assets.

Often in long haul movement, truck owners have a sort of thumb rule earning for the month number, say Rs.85K or Rs.115K a month for example, while this may be broadly an assumption in the right direction, however this approach may be flawed in hindsight due to several components of cost not being acknowledged in the consideration, besides it doesn’t stand the test of scale as well.

Here are some basic steps, how trucking companies / fleets can increase productivity.

  1. Measure, measure, measure !

    As we all know, objectives are delivered only when Key performance indicators are measured. “Most small and medium size transporters don’t have the ability to determine what the productivity number is for break-even or for making a certain profit, and how that relates to a specific truck and what its contribution needs to be.

    Therefore it is important that Truckers and transport companies derive a total revenue number based on – Infrastructure and resource employed cost + cost of interest (finance)+ operational running cost + insurance cost + asset wear and tear (depreciation) . Post determining this revenue number, this number could be apportioned on the asset and a per day revenue objective could be obtained.

    Don’t include fuel surcharges in your productivity numbers. That changes as the price of fuel fluctuates and has nothing to do with your productivity. Fleet owners should use the fuel surcharge as a deduction against their fuel expenses, so they can get a better feel for whether the surcharge is doing its job of absorbing increases in fuel costs.

  2. Register with a TMS or a Marketplace Aggregation cum execution platform

    In order to properly track and measure, you need a good transportation management system. Maybe VALUESHIPR www.valueshipr.com is one place you could check out. It offers its simple and user friendly transportation management platform almost ‘free’. The most important thing is efficiently using whatever the features and the capabilities that these systems offer. Ensure there there is no resistance from the users in your organization, in adoption.

    ValueShipr organises three basic areas: Sales, planning, and driver management. Fundamentally most transport companies do not have an active Sales team and depends on their relationship and broker agent network to garner business. This method at times impedes growth and a platform such as ValueShipr helps overcome this deficiency by getting visibility to newer customers and better Sales control to enhance business. We have observed that users who have adopted and used the ValueShipr platform have reported enhanced productivity in revenues and business from each of their trucks and trailers registered with the platform.

    In addition the data used for decision making is current, live and real-time, with electronic logs and other information coming directly from the truck.

  3. Focus on per-truck productivity

    TThe fastest way to improve your bottom line or profitability, is to either put parked trucks into operation or increase the productivity of individual trucks. The average monthly utilisation (revenue earned) of trucks or trailers is about 13-14 days.

    This is chiefly attributed due to lack of business visibility,shortage of drivers, empty return loads etc.

    Trucks need to be run extra shifts, round the clock or more days though the use of extra drivers or part-time drivers.

    While that may not be possible for a small- to mid-size company in an line haul operation, companies that operate in a 250- to 500 km radius could have other drivers operating some of their trucks on Saturdays or at night.

  4. Drive change from the top down
    The revenue objectives set out by the company needs to percolate to people in the operations department and the drivers need to understand what the number is that’s expected for each truck in order to make a certain level of profit. This communication will help make them realise the importance of their role.

    It has been observed often employees are trained to be customer sensitive, however the organisational objectives like revenue expectation are seldom shared.

    Having productivity-based incentives for both operations and drivers but with customer sensitivity can create the much needed impact in increasing productivity.

  5. Make sure you have the right people in the right positions

    Once you have a measurement system in place, it is important that you choose the right people in the right position with adequate attention to skill sets and soft skills.

  6. Driver – Pilot Management

    This resource is the most vital cog in your business model, the person who makes it happen for you. Post identifying this resource ensure the following is imparted: right training, customer handling, important of rest, safety and compliance, regular health check ups.

    This aspect of your business has to be dealt with utmost maturity and professionally to ensure that you get the right output. Among other items viz; adequate compensation, resting places, health checkups, incentives and other welfare measures need to be offered.

    Therefore it is apt to say that transport owners need to start with the recognition, that it’s a culture change and it only happens from the top down. Everyone has to understand what’s expected of them, and you have to measure results and establish rewards and accountability.”

  7. If you want to REGISTER or even have a chat over a cup of coffee,
    We would love to engage with you, call us on 8655012255 or visit www.valueshipr.com

Understanding Pallets, Containers, boxes, Drums in Logistics

Early entrants into Logistics and supply chain and even people with experience in the stream often get confused or unable to co-relate the various containers and abbreviations that are commonly used in the industry. In order to provide a ready recknor on these terms, find a exhaustive list, providing clarity for users.

Mode Container Description
Ocean Containers Full 20′ container (TEU FCL) Standard twenty-foot container that is loaded and unloaded under the risk and account of the shipper or consignee.
Ocean Containers Full 40′ container (FEU FCL) Standard forty-foot container that is loaded and unloaded under the risk and account of the shipper or consignee.
Ocean Containers Full 40’HC container (FCL) Hi-cube forty-foot container that is loaded and unloaded under the risk and account of the shipper or consignee.
Ocean Containers Full 45’HC container (FCL) Hi-cube forty five-foot container that is loaded and unloaded under the risk and account of the shipper or consignee.
Ocean Containers 20′ flat rack Tenty-foot open-topped and open-sided unit that fits into an existing below-deck container and is used for oversized cargo and wheeled or tracked vehicles.
Ocean Containers 40′ flat rack Forty-foot open-topped and open-sided unit that fits into an existing below-deck container and is used for oversized cargo and wheeled or tracked vehicles.
Ocean Containers 20′ refrigerated ”Twenty-foot refrigerated shipping container for transporting perishables having its own stand-alone (self-powered) cooling system.”
Ocean Containers 40′ refrigerated ”Forty-foot refrigerated shipping container for transporting perishables having its own stand-alone (self-powered) cooling system.”
Ocean Containers 40’HC refrigerated ”Hi-cube forty-foot refrigerated container that is used for transporting perishables having its own stand-alone (self-powered) cooling system.”
Ocean Containers 20′ non operative reefer (NOR) ”Twenty-foot refrigerated shipping container having its own stand-alone (self-powered) cooling system that is non operative.”
Ocean Containers 40′ non operative reefer (NOR) ”Forty-foot refrigerated shipping container having its own stand-alone (self-powered) cooling system that is non operative.”
Ocean Containers 40’HC non operative reefer (NOR) ”Hi-cube forty-foot refrigerated shipping container having its own stand-alone (self-powered) cooling system that is non operative.”
Ocean Containers 20′ ISO tank container ”Twenty-foot container or tanktainer that is an intermodal container for the transport of liquids gases and powders as bulk cargo.”
Ocean Containers 40′ ISO tank container ”Forty-foot container or tanktainer that is an intermodal container for the transport of liquids gases and powders as bulk cargo.”
Ocean Containers 20′ open top ”Twenty-foot container fitted with a solid removable roof or with a tarpaulin roof that can be loaded or unloaded from the top.”
Ocean Containers 40′ open top ”Forty-foot container fitted with a solid removable roof or with a tarpaulin roof that can be loaded or unloaded from the top.”
Ocean Containers 40’HC open top ”Hi-cube forty-foot container fitted with a solid removable roof or with a tarpaulin roof that can be loaded or unloaded from the top.”
Ocean Containers Drum (Barrels) Cylindrical container used for shipping liquids and powders and is often certified for shipment of dangerous goods.
Ocean Containers Ro ro ”Roll-on/roll-off ships are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo such as automobiles and trucks.”
Ocean Containers Container48 Forty eight-foot hi-cube container.
Ocean Containers Container53 Fifty three-foot hi-cube container.
Air Shipping LD1 ”92″” wide contoured half width container used for a wide-body aircraft.”
Air Shipping LD2 ”61.5″” wide contoured half width container used for a wide-body aircraft.”
Air Shipping LD3 ”79″” wide contoured half width container used for a wide-body aircraft. Dimension are according to IATA.”
Air Shipping LD7 ”88″”/96″” wide contoured full width container used for a wide-body aircraft.”
Air Shipping LD6 ”160″” wide contoured full width container used for a wide-body aircraft. (equivalent to 2 LD3s)”
Air Shipping LD8 ”125″” wide contoured full width container used for a wide-body aircraft. (equivalent to 2 LD2s)”
Air Shipping LD11 ”125″” wide full width container used for a wide-body aircraft. (same as LD6 but without contours; rectangular)”
Pallets Pallet(s) ”Portable platform on which goods can be moved stacked and stored
Pallets EUR1/ISO1 pallet (80×120cm) Standard pallet with the dimensions 80 X 120 cm.
Pallets EUR2/ISO2 pallet (120×100cm) Standard pallet with the dimensions 100 X 120 cm.
Pallets “48””x40″” pallet” ”48″” Long x 40″” Wide wood pallet is the most common size stringer pallet.”
Other Box Container with a flat base and sides typically square or rectangular and having a lid.
Other Envelope ”Flat paper container with a sealable flap used to enclose a letter or document.”
Other Break bulk System of transporting cargo as separate pieces rather than in containers.
Other Roll Container that can be carried by trucks and can be pushed to ground level by help of a hook and level arm with the container possibly sliding on roller wheels.

‘Container’ is a word synonyms with Logistics and Shipping. There are various shipping container sizes and purposes, it is important that one needs to know the key differences. Therefore selecting the optimal container type is important for safe transportation of the cargo and will also yield cost effective options.

Ocean Shipping Containers:
Containers are typically made of steel, with corrugated sides. Container bottoms usually consist of plywood or treated wood planks. When shipping goods that are concentrated or heavier than normal, it is important to confirm that the bottom of the container can support the weight without breaking.

Sizes of containers are listed in feet. A container’s internal and door dimensions are generally standard, but at times vary by carrier. Depending on the carrier, maximum payloads or weight per container can vary. Before shipping, confirmation of the weight of the containers needs to be ascertained from the legality perspective for ground and rail transportation.

Below are descriptions of various types of ocean shipping containers:

Standard Container:
These units are completely enclosed with rigid walls, roof and floor. At least one end wall has a door for access. As the most popular shipping container option, standard containers are used for dry cargo packaged in boxes, bags, bales, pallets etc. and are available in the following sizes (length x width x height):
20’ x 8’ x 8’6”
40’ x 8’ x 8’6”
40’ x 8’ x 9’6” (high cube)
45’ x 8’ x 8’6”

Reefer Container:
Also known as a “refrigerated container,” these containers are thermal, insulated units with compressors to heat or cool the cargo. Some reefer containers even have adjustable ventilation, allowing for internal airflow.

Designed to transport temperature-sensitive cargo and perishable goods, like produce, reefer containers are the best option when transporting items that need to be transported at a constant temperature that’s above, or below, freezing. Available sizes (length x width x height):
20’ x 8’ x 8’6”
40’ x 8’ x 8’6”
40’ x 8’ x 9’6” (high cube)

Flat Rack Container:
Flat racks are made with a steel frame, a wood floor, fixed or collapsible end walls and no sidewalls. Some flat racks also have end walls that fold flush with the base. Having strong floors, flat racks are generally used to transport heavy, oversized or bulky cargo. Available sizes (length x width x height):
20’ x 8’ x 8’6”
40’ x 8’ x 8’6”
40’ x 8’ x 9’6” (high cube)

Platform Container:
This container is exactly how it sounds: floor structure without any end or side walls. Made with a steel frame and a wooden floor, platform containers are built to carry extremely heavy and oversized loads. Available sizes (length x width x height):
20’ x 8’ x 8’6”
40’ x 8’ x 8’6”

Open Container:
Essentially these are standard containers, without the rigid roof. Instead, they contain a flexible tarpaulin roof, which can be removed entirely. Open containers have doors on end walls that swing out. These containers work best for transporting cargo that is over height, as the tarpaulin can be moved for crane access. These containers are available in the following sizes (length x width x height):
20’ x 8’ x 8’6”
40’ x 8’ x 8’6”
40’ x 8’ x 9’6” (high cube)

The efficiency of any storage and handling system depends on how best the load has been unitized on pallets or in containers. Pallets and containers are designed keeping in mind the specific requirements of each product / industry.

The various types of containers and pallets generally in use in the industry are Plastic containers, Crates & Bins and drums.

Flat Pallets – Wooden, Steel & Plastic, Detachable Frame pallets. Collapsible Containers, Rolling boxes, Foldable boxes and Nestable Pallets.

Freight Industry Visible Trends 2017 – Valueshipr

The container market is starting to emerge from one of the worst industry downturns with demand outgrowing capacity for the second consecutive quarter. This is on back of the continued experience for most Ocean carriers, who experienced extreme margins (below zero) and revenue pressures and dropping yields. This situation has led to some of the largest liners declaring bankruptcy shutting operations as well.

Hence this waft of some improving conditions has come in as a well deserved succor to the ailing ecosystem. One of the largest liners in the World recently shared numbers of increase in freight rates by 4.4% and increase in revenues and volumes by 10% last quarter. Some of the visible trends / triggers that would drive the industry are as follows.

Improving Strong Demand
Post the demise of one of the largest Ocean Liners, there has been a spike in demand and it has created a supply – demand imbalance. The large scale scrapping of vessels and no real new vessel ordering has also impacted this aspect of imbalance. It is estimated that the demand for containers would increase to around 4 – 5% for the year.

Better rates / yields across lanes:
There has been a perceptible improvement in the shipping rates of single containers along the Asia – Europe and Asia – US (West coast) routes, over 2016 rates.

Asia – Europe rates for a single container is seeing a increase of almost 80-100% and and Asia – US (West Coast) is seeing an increase of almost 45-65% over 2016. This trend will continue due to the supply-demand imbalance. ( Source –Braemar ACM Shipbroking / WSJ May 2017)

Carrier Consolidation:
Some level of carrier consolidation will continue in 2017 and we may see the entry of a new carrier into the transpacific trade. Consolidations and Mergers will continue for sustainability, utilisation and economies of scale. Major mergers like CMA CGM’s acquisition of Singapore’s APL, Cosco and China Shipping’s CSCL merger, acquisition of Hamburg Sud by Maersk etc are trends setting and redefining the space.

The new alliance structure would be 2M (Maersk, MSC); G6 (OOCL, Hapag-Lloyd, NYK, Hyundai, MOL, Hamburg Sud); KYHE (“K” Line, Yang Ming, Evergreen, Hanjin); and 05 (CMA CGM, CSCL, UASC, APL, Cosco)

Redefining Distribution
Some of the Global majors are trying to reshape and redefine itself and adapt itself into a Global Supply Chain player by integrating its transport and logistics units, move more ships in and out of ports, carry more inland cargo, digitalise supply chain on platforms for scale, collaborations and transparency etc. Newer trends in Large majors (Shipping and freight forwarding) aligning with platform ecosystems in Americas, Europe and Asia to quickly provide a integrated solution to consumers and also draw in new businesses are being observed.

India trends::

E commerce
With eCommerce business in India rapidly scaling up, newer global players are making a beeline for the consumers in India with product niches and service standards. The government is also trying to establish a conducive and fair platform for e commerce players to effect trade harmoniously. Service standards set up by these players in gratification of the consumer demand are turning a new leaf each day with better, faster and simpler logistics. Logistics players have had to rapidly re-adjust to the paradigm change demanded by these e commerce players and embrace technology to enhance efficiencies.

Effective July 1st, 2017, the GST is all set out to be rolled out. This will bring about a uniform tax structure as India becomes one big market, there will be fewer and larger warehouses. Second, it will lead to a larger number of bigger trucks on road as there is greater adoption of the hub-and-spoke model. Third, these changes will lead to greater economies of scale for transport operators and lead to more companies outsourcing their logistics operations. Standard tax rates will allow corporations to move away from the practice of building a warehouse in different states to adhere to each state’s tax code. A big packaged consumer goods company could thus make do with one large mother warehouse at critical points in the country and employ logistics companies to manage distribution and supply chains. The new tax will result in greater adoption of a hub-and-spoke model in segments such as warehousing, cold chain, container freight stations and inland container depots