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Logistic firms in India are pivoting on drones, cloud, IoT, blockchain: report

Indian logistics companies are turning to blockchain technology and a collection of other innovative technologies to improve industry processes, according to a report from HERE Technologies.

The report, titled APAC on the Move, shed light on the operations of logistic firms across the Asia Pacific region, noting the impressive leaps taken by the industry in the face of daunting challenges. India’s ecosystem was identified in the report as leveraging blockchain, drones, cloud technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to stimulate growth in the industry.

An estimated 33% of Indian logistics companies affirm that an investment in blockchain will provide “better end-to-end asset visibility” for monitoring shipments. Others believe infusing a mobile asset tracking solution and investing in cloud technology will be key for growth.

However, the local ecosystem is plagued with the challenge of finding the right technology partners to provide infrastructure services. Given the novel nature of the technology, Indian logistic players are often stumped on the best ways to get started with blockchain and other innovative tools.

A large chunk of surveyed firms stated that they are searching for “turn-key solutions” that can be deployed without the requirement of overhauling their existing systems. At the moment, the logistic costs make up a staggering 14% of India’s GDP, making sweeping changes imperative for the industry’s long-term survival.

Aside from the slow march of blockchain adoption by logistic firms, Indian regulators are set to introduce the National Logistics Policy (NLP), a framework with the potential to reduce logistics costs by 4% before 2030.

“With the NLP promoting greater technology adoption, location technology will serve as a critical tool to empower a unified logistics interface, which is one of the steps under the NLP to connect various data sources and provide cross-sector use cases for logistics stakeholders,” said Abhijit Sengupta, head of business at HERE Technologies.

The report surveyed over 1,300 service providers across Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Thailand, and India.

India’s blockchain affinity

India has made public its blockchain ambitions in multiple statements by key officials, including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das. At the end of 2022, Sitharaman revealed that the country is moving toward a 46% adoption of blockchain and has already begun implementing it across several sectors.

In January, officials from New Delhi announced using blockchain in its Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to improve forensics amid the country’s leading public policy think tank NITI Aayog launched a DLT learning module. Maharashtra, one of India’s economic nerve centers, relies on blockchain to improve processes in its land registry.

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