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From 44th to 38th: India’s Remarkable Leap in Global Logistics Rankings

From a nation grappling with logistical bottlenecks to a global logistics frontrunner, India’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable. Reforms spearheaded by the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti National Master Plan and the National Logistics Policy have revitalized infrastructure and logistics services, placing India at the forefront of international trade

By Sumita Dawra

India is currently positioned at a crucial juncture, poised for substantial growth and progress. With a focus on addressing logistical challenges, the nation’s global logistics rating has surged ahead of its competitors, marking a significant achievement. From 44th to 38th: India’s Remarkable Leap in Global Logistics Rankings

The country’s standing in manufacturing and trade on the international stage is closely tied to reforms aimed at enhancing infrastructure and EXIM (Export-Import) logistics. Among these reforms, the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP) and the National Logistics Policy stand out, as they prioritize the improvement of logistics infrastructure and services for both goods and passenger movement. These reforms have already begun yielding positive outcomes, impressively visible in a short span.

In its 2023 Logistics Performance Index (LPI) report, the World Bank has recognized India’s strides in enhancing logistics efficiency. The LPI, which evaluates 139 nations based on six parameters encompassing Customs, Infrastructure, International Shipments, Logistics Competence, Timeliness, Tracking, and Tracing, positions India at an impressive 38th rank. This is a notable jump of six places compared to the country’s 2018 ranking.

India’s journey to this commendable position can be attributed to its sustained investments in infrastructure and technologies since 2015. One significant aspect of these investments is the improved connectivity between ports on the eastern and western coasts of the nation and its economic centers in the hinterland. As a result, India’s container dwell time at ports has surpassed that of many developed nations, exemplifying the positive impact of these infrastructure enhancements.

Central to this success story is the implementation of the National Logistics Data Bank Services Ltd (NLDBSL), which serves as a crucial digitization platform. The Logistics Data Bank (LDB) empowers stakeholders to track and trace the movement of EXIM containers within India using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. This innovation has significantly reduced container dwell time at Indian ports, as exemplified by the decline from 32.4 days in 2015 to a remarkable 5.3 days in 2019 at the eastern port of Visakhapatnam.

The Government of India’s recognition of the pivotal role played by the logistics sector has led to the establishment of the Logistics Databank Project (LDB). Operated as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) between the National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (NICDC) and the Japanese Company, Nippon Electric Company (NEC) Limited, LDB seamlessly integrates digital information from various supply chain agencies. This real-time information is made available through a single portal and mobile app for consignees, offering enhanced visibility and facilitating big data analytics concerning India’s containerized EXIM logistics.

From 44th to 38th: India's Remarkable Leap in Global Logistics Rankings

Since its inception in July 2016, LDB has efficiently tracked an astounding 60 million EXIM containers, relying on a combination of cutting-edge technologies like RFID, IoT (Internet of Things), and Big Data Analytics. The platform is now integrated with major Indian ports, toll plazas, Container Freight Stations (CFS), Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Empty yards at Ports, special economic zones, and even integrated check posts on Nepal and Bangladesh borders. Approximately 3000 RFID readers have been strategically installed along major road and rail routes, including Dedicated Freight Corridors, to capture RFID data.

The data harnessed and integrated by LDB enables various insightful analytics, encompassing calculations of port dwell time for containers, analysis of freight movement congestion, container speed assessment, performance benchmarking, and transit time analysis. These analytics are regularly reported to relevant authorities and stakeholders on monthly, quarterly, and annual bases, enabling them to identify areas for improvement.

Data from LDB over the past few years reflects a notable improvement in container handling performance, road-bound container evacuation, container speed on major highways, as well as container evacuation performance at ICDs and CFSs. Routes like Delhi-Mumbai and those connecting to Mundra Port have witnessed significant enhancements in container speed compared to 2018.

LDB’s influence extends beyond domestic borders, with services reaching up to the Nepal and Bangladesh borders to facilitate efficient cross-border trade. Moreover, the maritime tracking system is employed to monitor India’s EXIM containers until they reach their first international port of call. Looking ahead, there are plans to leverage Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to integrate with similar international systems, further optimizing the export container journey for enhanced trade performance.

This remarkable progress is only the beginning of a transformative journey. India’s innovative adoption of digital technologies to revamp the logistics ecosystem promises to accelerate its pace further, thereby propelling the nation’s global logistics rankings in the coming years. This speed and efficiency will undoubtedly contribute significantly to India’s cherished aspiration of becoming a developed nation by 2047.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of this newspaper


The logistics landscape in India is undergoing a seismic shift, and the world is taking notice. With the implementation of critical reforms and cutting-edge technologies, India’s global logistics rating has surged past its competitors. Unravel the secrets of India’s rise to the 38th position in the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) and how smart infrastructure investments are transforming the nation’s trade and manufacturing prospects.

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