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IIM Ahmedabad launches a Multidisciplinary Centre for Transportation and Logistics Research

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AHMEDABAD: Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), a premier B-school in the Asia Pacific region has recently established a Centre for Transportation and Logistics, co-chaired by Dr. Debjit Roy and Dr. Sandip Chakrabarti, faculty at IIMA. The initiative comes with a vision to facilitate cutting-edge research in transportation, logistics and allied areas, and thereby contribute to scholarship, practice, and policymaking in India and abroad. Moreover, it also helps to strengthen and scale-up IIMA’s presence and impact in the transportation and logistics sector.

IIMA has a rich legacy in the domain of transportation and logistics, and has immensely contributed to both academic research and practice in this area. IIMA faculty members have written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and cases in network design, mode choice, warehousing, infrastructure, and transport policy. The institute, through the Centre for Transportation and Logistics (CTL), will offer an integrated, multidisciplinary program of research, post-graduate and executive education, technology transfer, and policy advice for enhancing the mobility of people and goods.

Speaking about the initiative,

Dr. Debjit Roy, faculty and one of the co-founders of CTL at IIMA said, “We are delighted to have established a centre that will address existing roadblocks and challenges in the transportation and logistics sector, which is one of the most instrumental sectors for our country’s economic growth. Our objective behind establishing the CTL is to contribute to improving the efficiency of multi-modal transportation systems and supply chain logistics, thereby promoting economic growth and fostering sustainable development. We have faculty coming in from across the institute that have joined the centre as members. A group of internationally-acclaimed professors with outstanding research accomplishments from North American, European and Asian universities have joined the centre’s research advisory committee for providing guidance in centre development and supporting a range of academic activities.”

Recently, the Centre for Transportation and Logistics organized a virtual inauguration with a panel discussion on the topic “Trends and Innovations in Transportation and Logistics” with distinguished panelists spanning academia, industry and government. IIMA Director Dr. Errol D’Souza inaugurated the event and addressed the participants, stressing on the importance of transportation and logistics networks in India’s structural transformation, economic growth, and social development. Dr. D’Souza added that the tradition of IIMA is to perform cutting edge research not only in the management sciences but also for socioeconomic development. He indicated that the goal of the centre would not only be to find ways of reducing transportation and logistics operating costs, but also to promote social inclusion and to address environmental sustainability issues.

Sharing his thoughts on the inaugural event, Dr. Sandip Chakrabarti, faculty and one of the co-founders of CTL at IIMA said, “The inaugural panel discussion highlighted critical transportation and logistics issues in India that need urgent attention. The panelists provided valuable suggestions on how our centre can address India specific problems, and thereby support the transportation and logistics ecosystem in the country. The experts emphasized the need for research in swappable batteries and charging infrastructure for electrification of road transportation systems. They voiced the need for research in integrated cold chains and multi-temperature vehicles for frozen food transportation. Finding ways to improve customer affordability for vehicle purchase was identified as a key thrust area in the commercial vehicle industry. The panelists underscored the need for creative planning, policy and design solutions and a collaborative approach to promote sustainable transportation in cities, including walking, bicycling, electric mobility, shared transportation, and public transit. They noted that the shift from private mobility to shared mobility has been remarkable, and argued that the pace of electrification in the transportation sector is likely to get accelerated. It was clear from the discussion that prudent transportation and logistics planning is important for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The IIMA Centre for Transportation and Logistics plans to organize a series of webinars, workshops and panel discussions periodically throughout the year. The centre will also have rolling opportunities for postdoctoral research and distinguished visiting scholar positions.

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