With an aim to understand the changing digital penetration and awareness in the shipping and logistics industry among MSMEs in EXIM fraternity, Freightwalla, India’s leading digital freight forwarding digitise platform, released a survey report titled ‘MSME Digital India Shipping 2022’. The report highlighted that about 84% of respondents believe digitization will improve supply chain management efficiency.
The Indian shipping industry has experienced tremendous volatility over the past couple of years, adversely influencing international trade by causing multiple problems, such as equipment shortages, shipment delays, and inefficient dealing with cargo movements. To overcome these problems, approximately 59% of respondents said that digitisation is integral to addressing the challenges in the industry.
Interestingly, as per the report, while complete digitisation in the supply chain and logistics industry was preferred by the majority of participants, in contrast, about 57% also stated that along with the digitised interface, they would also prefer some human intervention in grievance redressal.
According to the survey findings, over 70% of MSMEs intend to ship goods using digital freight forwarding compared to 30% who prefer traditional counterparts. This survey was conducted among 440 businesses dealing in export and import from India. The surveyors included exporters, importers, and service providers.
As the global supply chain is evolving at a never-before rate with increased technological penetration and technical advances, there has been an increased need for a holistic focus on end-to-end digitisation and service integration in the industry. The findings of the report and the recent National Logistics Policy both showcase the importance of digitisation for the efficient cross-border movement of goods.
In a multicultural country like India, having a wide variety of linguistic barriers, it was surprising that only 10% of the total cohort felt the need for local language support from the service providers. The far larger number unanimously chose their comfort language of operations as English.
The report also highlighted that most businesses witnessed a significant rise in customer satisfaction followed by a growth in revenue and a reduction in costs. Even as the world is racing back towards post-pandemic normalcy, container and equipment shortage was the most faced challenge, followed by excessive paperwork and lack of real-time tracking, as the key challenges faced by the EXIM community in the past year.
Even after the constant efforts of the government to strengthen internet penetration and digital education to the last mile users, 32% were unaware of digital freight forwarding as a service. In comparison, 14% complained of a lack of internet access.
Commenting on the release, Mr. Sanjay Bhatia, Cofounder & CEO of Freightwalla, said, “Logistical industry in India has always been traditionally driven. However, the ushering of the digitisation wave and the introduction of technology in this sector globally disrupted the industry. This survey emphasised understanding stakeholders’ views on digital awareness and adoption.
It showcases how the mindset of Indian logistical players and manufacturers is changing towards embracing technology, even in rural areas, as they are willing to unlearn conventional practices while upskilling themselves with the latest technology. We are excited by such enthusiasm we have witnessed for digitisation and strongly believe that this is the unveiling of the new era of Atmanhirbhar and Digital Bharat.
To further strengthen this sentiment and build India’s image as the logistical hub of the world, we welcome our Prime Minister’s efforts through PMGS-NMP(PM GatiShakti National Master Plan) and National Logistics Policy. These initiatives would be a giant leap in creating a truly inclusive and integrated logistical ecosystem.”
Freightwalla, as a digital service provider, aims to bring transparency and visibility to the shipping and logistics sector, modernise the operations across the supply chain and contribute to the government’s ease of doing business in India. To provide end-to-end digitised services catering to all freight needs and help the industry with real-time tracking and predictive analysis, Freightwalla launched AI-powered Tracking as a Service in 2021.