As per a research report by the National Skill Development and KPMG on the skill gap in the Indian logistics sector, in the year 2017, around 16.74 million people were employed in this sector. It is projected to employ more than 28.4 million by 2022. It is one of the biggest employment-generating sectors in India contributing to the growth of the Indian economy. However, have you ever thought, about how big this sector is and what its sub-sectors are? As per the national industrial classification, in terms of freight transportation, the sub-sectors under logistics are:

1. General and express road freight transportation

More than 60 percent of freight is transported by general and express road freight transportation. It provides first-mile, middle-mile, and last-mile transportation solutions in every inch of India. The industry is divided into traditional road careers and the new age express pure-play logistics service providers.    

2. Warehousing and value-added services

Deals provide the consolidation, segregation, storage, order mixing, packaging, and other value-added services for the supply chain. A lot of investment is planned in this sub-sector to cater to the increased demand for storage space from express logistics, e-commerce, importers & exporters, cold chain, air cargo, manufacturers, etc. It has put the focus on increasing the warehousing infrastructure, automation, and implementation of modern IT systems.

Learn more about Introduction to Warehouse Operations  

3. Postal services, Courier & hyperlocal delivery

Postal and courier services handle the movement of smaller parcels, documents, and hyperlocal delivery of services of household goods, foods, etc across the nation’s households and commercial establishments.  

4. Port terminals, ICD & CFS operations

With more than 90% of India’s export goods moving through international sea and river routes, ports, inland container depots, and container freight stations play a pivotal role in augmenting supply chain efficiency.   

5. Freight forwarding & Customs clearance

Freight forwarding is the coordination and shipment of goods from one place to another via a single or multiple carrier like air, marine, rail, or highway. Freight forwarding basically consists of strategic logistics planning and execution for the international movement of goods, on behalf of shippers.

6. Air freight

Air cargo operations handle the movement of high valued and time-bound materials across the nation. The postal and courier sub-sector leverages the increased air transportation infrastructure to ensure fast, safe, and reliable services for many industries. They also provide warehousing solutions for perishable and custom bonded materials within the air terminals.

Learn more about Air freight Transport

7. Cold supply chain

India’s horticulture, flowers, seafood, and meat depend on the cold supply chain for cold storage and movement in temperature-controlled vehicles to ensure maximum shelf-life and provide fresh produce to the customers as per the demand.    

8. E-commerce

India has quickly adapted to the experience of being the goods and services delivered at the doorstep. An efficient first-mile, middle-mile, and last-mile logistics through various modes of transport, and warehouse ecosystem has helped the industry to cater to the increasing demands for more SKUs by the customers. 

Learn more about Understanding E-commerce    

9. Inland waterways

Indian logistics needs to bring down its operating costs considerably in order to become more competitive. Due to several reasons such as lack of supporting infrastructure, non-automated material handling systems, high manual process, highly unorganized nature of the industry, and lack of skilled & certified manpower, the overall logistics cost in India is 14 percent whereas 8-10 percent in the US and Europe. An increased focus on developing the inland waterways infrastructure, making it more organized, and improving efficiency is to be seen in this direction. India’s vast network of inland waterways plays an important role in the bulk movement of agricultural produce, timber, edible oil, consumer goods, etc.  

10. Rail freight

The largest transporter of India, railways has made its rail network across the nation. When it comes to the movement of goods such as food grains & pulses, and commodities such as coal, cement, minerals, chemical, iron & steel, etc., rail freight enjoys a monopoly. This is largely due to the vast rail network, rail side storage facilities, bulk movement, and availability of more than 3 lakhs rail wagons for movement. A recent trend that has emerged in the movement of automobiles using rail freight to transport vehicles to their dealers.

Learn more about Rail Freight Transport

11. Packaging

The packaging industry caters to the primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging of industry, consumer, and agriculture goods needs. To make the industry world-class, there has been an enhanced focus to increase the industry capabilities in terms of technology, skills, and efficiency. A well-packaged product not only improves the shelf-life of the product but also improves customer satisfaction.     

The Indian logistics sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.7 percent between 2020-2024. This growth rate requires highly skilled manpower at all levels in the above-mentioned sub-sectors. 

So, which sub-sector are you interested in to build your career?

To read more blog topics, you can refer to Soft skills for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Professionals

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