India is undergoing a period of rapid economic growth and the freight forwarding industry in India is growing in tandem.
In order to help promote economic growth in India, the government is investing in developing its transport infrastructure so that the country can continue on its path towards becoming a more industrialised nation, with transport links that make international freight more seamless and cost-effective.
The shipping company operating in India already faces a choice between a large number of modes of transport by road, rail and air. The demand for transport infrastructure has been rising by around 10% a year and the government is investing heavily in making improvements, which is excellent news for freight services companies and shipping companies.
At present, there are more than 335 civilian airports in India and 20 international airports. More than 50% of all the air traffic in India is handled by The Indira Gandhi International Airport and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Air India has recently ordered more than 60 new jets from Boeing in a 7.5 billion US dollar investment and other Indian airlines are also increasing the size of their fleet.
Road transport in India is currently underdeveloped and, as an example of this, there are only 13 million cars on the roads in India. However, despite the poor road infrastructure and the fact that trucking freight from Gurgaon to the port in Mumbia can take up to 10 days, the National Highways Authority reports that about 65% of freight transport in India is by road.
It is therefore not surprising that the government and private sector are investing in this mode of freight transport and this will reap dividends for the freight company in and shipping company in due course. Right now, only very few of the national highways are made of concrete – the leading one being the Mumbai-Pune Express way. However, recently work has started on a national system of multi-lane highways. This includes the Golden Quadrilateral and North-South and East-West Corridors, linking the largest cities in India.
Investment in the road infrastructure will be a great boost to those involved in freight services in India as the current system is so poorly developed that only 200km of the road network in India is classified as express ways. Under the National Highways Development Project, some of the most important national highways will be upgraded to four lanes or even six lanes in places.