MARSEILLE : CMA CGM is attempting to take a lead on paperless operations in India, as the industry increasingly embraces technology to keep pace with evolving trade dynamics.
The French liner will soon roll out a “digital forwarding system” across inland container depots (ICDs) in northern India, starting with Tughlakabad and Dadri .
“CMA CGM India has taken the first step to digitalise the process of customers requesting for a rail forwarding note,” the company told .
“Customers will now be able to upload all documents online and receive a digital rail forwarding note without having to go to a CMA CGM office.”
Tughlakabad and Dadri are the busiest ICDs in northern India, under the network of state-owned containerised rail company Container Corporation of India (Concor). The next phase of this digitisation programme will include other ICDs in the region.
The carrier claimed that with the digital mode going live, which includes aligning with Concor’s processes, northern India hinterland customers would see improved turnaround times for rail-related documentation and greater fluidity in overall trade flow.
CMA CGM (India) added: “The digital forwarding note will have to be available via ODex platform and be available for all registered ODeX users.”
ODeX is a provider of export-import shipping documentation services.
“In order to ensure minimal impact on daily operations, we will be ensuring a parallel regime in the first two weeks of implementation and, thereafter, progressively move towards full adoption of the digital forwarding note (except for reefer shipments, for which existing process will continue until further notice),” it said.
CMA CGM is a major liner operator on trades to/from India, with a group network of 20 offices, more than 5,000 employees, access to over 50 inland locations, as well as 14 weekly mainline services via seven gateway and seven feeder ports, across the country. The group also has a joint-venture with domestic port conglomerate Adani Group for terminal operations in Mundra Port.
As real-time, or near real-time, cargo visibility has become a critical priority for cargo interests amid growing competitive challenges, all carriers serving Indian trades have been actively pursuing digital advancements, both onshore and offshore, to raise service levels.
In parallel, the Indian government has established an advanced port community system to connect all transport/logistics stakeholders under an integrated, single-window platform, dubbed PCS1x, as part of a larger effort to create more transparency into supply chain management.