Tuesday, September 27, 2016

GPS Technology Means Changes for Road Haulage Freight and Logistics in Asia

India and China Are Stepping Up Their Games
Shipping News Feature
INDIA – CHINA – A quick look at the latest advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and its relevance to the logistics industry sees serious advances in India with the first ever GPS monitored road haulage movement between India and Bangladesh. The initial trial of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement whereby vehicles can enter any of the four nations’ territory without the need to tranship goods from one country’s truck to another, has now been successfully undertaken.

Earlier this month a truck arrived in Delhi having left from Bangladesh passing through the Customs posts en route without a hitch. The system saw the vehicle electronically tracked from Dhaka passing through West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, UP and Haryana until upon arrival at the Customs post in New Delhi. Under the protocols of the system the vehicle was sealed electronically with the authorities alerted every time the cargo doors were opened. A statement from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said:

“History was written at the Inland Customs Depot in Patparganj in East Delhi when for the first time a cargo truck from Bangladesh drove in with a Delhi bound consignment, having come seamlessly through customs free borders. The consignment did not have to undergo any customs clearance at the border. Instead, when it reached the first Indian customs station at border point Petrapole, an electronic seal with GPS tracking device was fixed on the truck so that the goods could be inspected for custom clearance at Delhi rather than at the border.

“The trial run has demonstrated that time and cost can be saved through facilitation of seamless transport through the sub-region. Cargo trucks earlier often had to be off loaded at the border and also go through customs clearance. This led to delay and often also caused damage to the goods. The steps being taken to facilitate seamless movement of cargo vehicles will give a major boost to trade and business in the sub-region.”

The 1850 kilometre run was the first international long distance transit undertaken under the auspices of the BBIN. Last year DHL Global Forwarding undertook trials on behalf of the Indian Government which saw a journey across India with an electronically tagged truck save around 900 kilometres using a direct route avoiding the normal Customs control points.

In China much is being made of the success of the country’s own global navigation system, designed to challenge the supremacy of the US technology which is almost universally used, even in China. The country makes no secret of the fact it wants to become less dependent on foreign technology and has insisted that the home grown Beidou system is used, not only by the military, but by other public utilities such as light houses.

Officials claim Beidou may prove more accurate in mainland China itself than the US version and state that 70% of fishing trawlers in the South China Sea use it. Cynics will say given the history of trawlers in European and other waters this might well be seen as another extension of ‘military’ use, but the Chinese insist Beidou has the ability to carry messages from the vessels together with their positional information. The Chinese are seemingly reducing their dependence on the agreement regarding GPS development alongside Russia’s Glonass system, and are also using all their powers of persuasion to get Asian neighbours to switch to Beidou, saying Pakistan and Laos have already done so.