DB Schenker looks to build an integrator footprint in India

   Release date: 11/03/2024     Hits: 4826    Comment: 0    
Note: Amid a possible ownership change, DB Schenker is looking to make greater inroads into the Indian market, as its economy

Amid a possible ownership change, DB Schenker is looking to make greater inroads into the Indian market, as its economy expands and it emerges as an Asian sourcing alternative to China.

Hitendra Mankani, chief commercial officer at DB Schenker India, told The Loadstar the company had a “multifaceted growth strategy that closely aligns with India’s evolving logistics dynamics and rising demand for a more efficient, robust supply chain ecosystem”. 

He added: “With contract logistics, our focus is on expanding our presence in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, enhancing warehousing capacity and working on technology to optimise operations. This includes advanced tracking solutions, automation and last-mile delivery capabilities.” 

The global forwarder is also particularly striving to nurture and scale up digital solutions to stay ahead of the competition in the market. 

Mr Mankani believes India’s air freight industry outlook is bullish, powered by promising economic indicators and tech advancements, although capacity has tightened in recent weeks amid the Red Sea crisis-linked impact on cargo flows. 

“We expect the market to pick up, compared with last year, and the growth is especially backed by a higher number of e-commerce shipments and demand for rapid high-value goods transport.” 

At the same time, Mr Mankani noted, green transport solutions were becoming a “customer lookout”, as industry and government leaders increasingly prioritise decarbonisation. 

“Our customers can opt for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for their shipments to drive down their environmental impact – via virtual allocation of the biofuel, it is possible to avoid up to 100% of CO2 emissions,” Mr Mankani told The Loadstar. 

DB Schenker is also building a logistics integrator footprint in India, as supply chain stakeholders put a heavier focus on end-to-end, point-to-point offerings to enable more resilient and sustainable trade flow. 

“We are forging new partnerships to create a circular economy through reverse logistics, to keep materials and components of all kinds in a continuous and sustainable cycle,” explained Mr Mankani.

That collaborative push has already seen some positive results, including a strategic partnership deal with Container Corp of India (Concor), its largest container rail operator, to jointly explore opportunities in the inland logistics space. Concor has an expansive network of 65 inland container depots. 

Kinjal Pande, DB Schenker’s India CEO, said: “Road continues to be the dominant mode of transport in India, but through this strategic partnership for rail freight, we want to significantly change the trend towards a low-carbon future.” 

At the same time, large-scale modernisation of the Indian rail network infrastructure is under way, including developing dedicated, freight-only connectors, which presents significant growth potential for intermodal services. 

DB Schenker India has a network of 28 offices and some 50 warehouses, with a combined space of more than half a million square metres.

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