Indian Logistics Challenge Due To Covid-19 Pandemic

In records, Logistics Industry is always said to be the backbone for the country to leap to the next level. However, in reality, it has been the most neglected industry. As the saying goes if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. For ages, Governments have neglected this Industry. The labor/workers and drivers have always got neglected. Industries paid pittance and Logistics Industry, in turn, exploited workers and drivers by paying abysmally low salaries and gave workers no job securities. Big company talked big about CSR compliance but outsourced logistics activity knowing fully well to meet the rate offered by company, their service provider has to flout norms. Logistics sector remained fragmented and got exploited and in turn, exploited.

Thankfully foreign investor came and at least fund is not an issue any longer. Government also became rigid and insisted on compliance and investor companies which had even worse return globally, to avoid scrutiny agreed to comply. The Indian Industry instead of paying right price for better quality further reduced the price and these investors backed logistics company again accepted business at even lower cost and made huge loss in hope of a better future. Their myopic vision does not make them realize that our industry would continue to demand their pound of flesh. So the scenario is the old logistics business houses who were hardly complaint by ensuring compliances were going in loss and many are sold out or up for sale. The investor-backed logistics companies have such huge over-heads and to reach the scale are taking business by further reducing the prices, resulting in some companies having loss bigger than the turnover of the company. Unfortunately, these investors backed companies also lack the execution skill to turn around the operation. 

Now comes the Carona pandemic and our even Industry biggies refuse to pay even the rent of warehouses and refused to pay for labors. Logistics companies in order to not to lose the customer, in turn, removed all casual labor and everybody looked at Government for solution. Government is struggling to fund right answers. Labour class suffered more due to anxiety and insecurities and bleak future more than lack of foods. They were thrown out of their houses in many places. Logistics companies even refused to provide them with food or cost of foods during this testing time which would not have cost them much but would have earned them tremendous loyalty and respect. But they were busy is reducing their losses by cutting costs. This resulted in deep distrust between the labor class and employers’ class.

Government is now realizing that lockdown will wipe out the poor hence, decided to open up the industry step by step. Government is spending huge money during the epidemic but had they set us in centres in every corner to provide food and shelter for poor, it would have yielded better result. People do much better job in providing food and shelter during the Kavad festival in North India, instead Government, on the one hand, is trying to open up Lockdown but on the other hand, they are arranging migrant labor to return to their homeland. They are wrongly hoping that they are saving their vote bank. What they are not realizing is that they are ensuring that Indian industry remains closed for at least 3 more months now and labor class is going to curse them more. And those industries which did not take care of their labors and retained them will pay for their action.

It is not that our labor class is very responsible. More than 50%  will remain at home for 3 months and will demand free food and cash remittance as their birthright for god knows how many months. Unfortunately, all morals, ethics, pain and suffering are only for middle class who will take salary cut pay for their maid given donation in PM fund pay taxes and additional taxes and levies and bear pain and cost of traveling to office without any proper commuting facility.