The Covid-19 pandemic has made business tougher for domestic port and logistics companies, which were already grappling with falling earnings amid the global economic slowdown.
Currently, different sections of the business, like warehousing, trucking and last-mile delivery among others, are facing several challenges, with labour shortage being the biggest challenge across all the segments. Longer turnaround time in case of ports, demand shock impacting volumes and supply chain disruption impacting last-mile delivery some of the other challenges facing the industry.
The coronavirus outbreak has stalled the continuous growth of cargo volumes, which registered positive growth for the period December 2019 to February 2020, to a negative year-on-year growth of 2.01 per cent in March 2020, dragged lower by a significant drop in container and liquid cargo volumes, said a CARE Ratings report.
In FY20, cargo handling at India’s major ports grew by a meagre 0.82 per cent as against 2.90 per cent growth achieved in the previous financial year.
Going ahead, container traffic is likely to be affected by the slowdown in the automotive industry and other container cargoes (imports of white goods and granite exports) for FY21 due to weak demand.