NEW DELHI : The Unified Logistics Interface Platform or ULIP, was launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as part of the National Logistics Policy on September 17 in 2022. It is a digital gateway wherein the private sector can integrate itself and access secure information related to logistics and resources available with various ministries of the government.
The policy aims to bring down India’s cost of logistics operations from 13-14% of gross domestic product to single digit by 2030 and stakeholders say that ULIP will act as a key facilitator in bringing down logistics cost at a time when global crude oil prices remain elevated.
The upcoming festival season will be a key test for ULIP. Indian companies will for the first time fully test the utilization and potential of the platform since its launch in September last year.
According to Mr. Haresh Calcuttawala, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, TreZix, a Software-as-a-service company, ULIP will enable logistics companies to achieve real-time traceability, thereby reducing the turnaround time, resulting in saving logistics costs, which is the principle objective of the National Logistics Policy.
“During upcoming festival seasons especially on the e-commerce part, the delivery lead time is going to get significantly reduced and there will be a minimum of 5 to 7% logistics cost benefits which can be passed to the end consumer, adding more discounts with faster delivery,” said Mr. Haresh Calcuttawala.
Mr. V. Rajesh Gowrinath, Senior Vice President (Sales) at Gati Ltd, part of multimodal logistics player Allcargo Logistics Ltd, outlined that as the festive season arrives, ULIP will emerge as a key enabler for the logistics service players to ensure efficiency.
“What is encouraging to note is that companies are integrating themselves with ULIP or signing up to access data on ULIP. Going forward, ULIP will emerge as a game-changer for the logistics industry by offering real-time visibility and ensuring optimal capacity utilisation as well as cost efficiency,” said Mr. Gowrinath.
“ULIP provides an effective solution for the complex process of managing operations during the festive season. It helps optimise order tracking, identification and collection of goods, delivering them to the right destination at the right time,” said Mr. Pushpank Kaushik, Chief Executive Officer at Jassper Shipping.
“Additionally, its interactive data exchangeability helps save time and money, as well as improve customer service. ULIP helps reduce losses of products owing to lapses in tracking, enabling efficient operations and allowing companies to juggle high volumes of shipments during bulk orders simultaneously,” Mr. Kaushik added.
LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
The National Logistics Policy seeks to enable efficiencies, simplification and transparency in the logistics sector with an aim to elevate the country into top 25 nations in terms of ranking in the Logistics Performance Index prepared by World Bank.
According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, major industry players like Maruti Suzuki, DHL, Safexpress, Ultratech, Jindal Stainless, Tata Steel, Yes Bank, BOSCH, Total Group, Transport Corporation of India Ltd, among others, have been onboarded on to the ULIP.
“Activities such as verification, tracking, route optimization, and planning have been automated to be executed through a single click. As a common platform for all logistics service providers, ULIP has created a level playing field for big & small businesses alike as far as reaching customers is concerned,” said Mr. Vineet Agarwal, Managing Director, Transport Corporation of India Ltd.
“This festive season business growth can be successfully managed by taking proactive stances, utilizing technology, and cooperating with trusted partners. It will surely place short-term seasonal stress although the sector may manage the constraints successfully by outsourcing activities and relying on technology to speed procedures,” said Mr. JB Singh, Director, MOVIN Express, a logistics joint venture between UPS and InterGlobe Enterprises.
DATA THE NEW FUEL FOR LOGISTICS COMPANIES
According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, ULIP users with Application Programming Interfaces-based integration can utilize the data for various activities and services like multi-modal track and trace, people and vehicle authentication, document digitization, among others.
“By leveraging advanced technology and data analytics, the platform creates a more transparent and integrated supply chain ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders,” said Agarwal.
“With ULIP, logistics firms have harnessed data-driven insights to streamline supply chain processes, enhance route planning, and improve last-mile delivery efficiency. This has translated into shorter delivery times, reduced costs, and a seamless shopping experience for customers,” said Ms. Zaiba Sarang, Co-founder of iThink Logistics.