West Bengal set to become a central point in India's logistics infrastructure

24 January 2019 Consultancy.in 2 min. read

India’s logistics sector is expanding in tandem with overall economic growth in the country. West Bengal is expected to be the centre for growth in the sector in light of a number of development projects linking the state to neighbours to the South and Southeast, according to a new report from business consultancy Intueri.

Given its predicted ascent to the second largest economy in the world by 2050, India is in considerable need of a strong logistics sector. A large part of India’s economic growth stems from an expanding consumer market, which requires the smooth transition of goods from the production to the consumption stage.

A strong logistics sector is essential, and India appears to be on its way to developing the same. The sector is currently worth as much as $160 billion, a figure that is expected to increase to as high as $215 billion over the next two years. Nevertheless, the sector is also in need of significant improvements, according to business and logistics consultancy Intueri.

As per the firm’s estimates, making targeted improvements in the sector could grow exports by as much as 8%, in addition to reducing costs of logistical processes by 10%. West Bengal is one region where the Indian government appears to be introducing such improvements, primarily in the form of infrastructure investment.

West Bengal set to become a central point in India's logistics infrastructure

One example of such development initiatives includes investment in roadways and waterways along the eastern transport corridor of India, which is expected to connect Kolkata with a number of neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and a number of others.

A new terminal in the town of Varanasi is also expected to bring West Bengal into a central position, connecting it with cargo all the way from Ludhiana in Punjab. The positioning of West Bengal at the centre of these plans comes due to its access to the Bay of Bengal and consequent access to key international sea routes.

The region is expected to be a key terminal for the new silk-road initiative currently underway, which has prompted the Indian government to invest in its development. “We  have the potential to become a logistics hub, having potential for investment of Rs. 50 billion by 2020,” said West Bengal’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra.

Alongside a crucial position along development routes in and around Asia, easy access to the Bay of Bengal on the east coast also gives the region an important position with respect to trade with much farther markets of Helsinki and St. Petersburg in the North as well as Japan and the United States in the East.