More than 235 port connectivity projects have been identified in India
India’s growing infrastructure need has made it quintessential to develop the transport system to full capacity. Logistics infrastructure covering the road, rail, waterways & air network of a country is the backbone on which the nation marches northbound . Although, the urgency to develop India’s logistics infrastructure has been realized well by the Indian government, as many development targets have been rolled out over the past decade. But the task at hand is daunting and needs participation from the deep pocketed players to lift the plans to reality. Since, a large part of India’s future logistics network capacity is still to be built, the country has great potential to build infrastructure optimally to meet the growing demand. Doing so requires an integrated and coordinated approach in which the development of each mode – railways, waterways and roads is matched to the needs and existing assets are better utilised.
Connectivity is one of the critical enablers for ports and the end-to-end effectiveness of the logistics system drives competitiveness for the maritime industry as well. With infusion of new technology and capacity building, the cumulative/ total capacity available at ports can match demand but will not be able to handle additional traffic if the evacuation to and from the port is restricted. It is, therefore, important that connectivity of major ports with the hinterland is augmented not only to ensure smooth flow of traffic at the present level but also to meet the requirements of projected increase in traffic. India's hinterland connectivity is mainly based on surface transport i.e. road and rail, wherein, domestic waterways (coastal shipping and inland waterways) playing a very limited role. Pipelines are predominantly used only for transporting crude oil, refined petroleum products and natural gas. In India, smooth connectivity to ports is even more important as the cargo generating centers are mainly in the hinterland instead of in the coastal region. The long lead distance increases the logistics cost and time variability within which the cargo can be delivered.