Container Stuffing Photo 185615801 Transport © Kosal Hor
© Kosal Hor

ECU Worldwide is betting on further growth in India as global importers source more Asia-made goods to meet roaring consumer and manufacturing demand.

ECU is one of the largest global cargo consolidators and a leading non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC) and CEO Tim Tudor told The Loadstar demand for LCL (less-than-container-load) services would continue to grow as ocean capacity tightened this year, because of widespread disruption caused by the pandemic.

“There are currently 100 vessels outside the port of Los Angeles, and similar delays are being seen in many other ports around the world,” Mr Tudor said. “This [congestion and dysfunction] will continue to work well for LCL, as shippers reconsider their freight flow and many opt for a more continual feed supply chain, which would include more LCL.”

According to him, although a fresh surge in Covid cases in India will inevitably cause disruption, authorities at various levels are taking timely proactive steps to ward off any large-scale supply chain hiccups to enable resurgent economic activity to continue as seamlessly as possible.

“Indian ports are ably supported by CFS [container freight station] infrastructure around the ports, which came in handy during the first and second Covid-19 events and will help ease congestion in future as well, should there be disruptions due to a shortage of labour and equipment at the container terminals,” said Mr Tudor.

He believes the pandemic has redefined the business environment, accelerating the pace of automation and making industry stakeholders realise the importance of being able to react, adapt and respond in a “stop-and-start” sort of economic scenario.

“Indian companies have taken a cue or more from the past two years and have focused on improving operational experience with a stronger thrust on digitalisation,” Mr Tudor said. “The Indian government is continuing to focus on building a robust infrastructure and this, in turn, will help the logistics sector to better manage future disruption.”

He added that it was imperative for future supply chain partners to begin factoring resilience and adaptability into their calculations and rely on digital technologies that, over the past two years, had become more dependable and conventional.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Mumbai-based Allcargo Logistics, ECU has significantly broadened its worldwide network in recent years through targeted acquisitions and organic growth.  A majority-stake buy in Scandinavian freight consolidator Nordicon last July was its most recent on that front.

ECU has a network of about 300 offices across 80 countries, providing 2,400 direct trade services and door-to-door offerings in 56 global markets.  It is said to command 13% of the global LCL market.

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