The National Highways Logistics Management (NHLML), Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Rail Vikas Nigam (RVNL) on Wednesday, signed a tripartite MoU for developing Multi Modal Logistics Park (MMLP) under the Bharatmala Pariyojna.

The objective behind the move is to centralise freight consolidation and reduce logistics cost from 14 per cent to less than 10 per cent of GDP at par with international standards, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) said in a statement.

The MoU was inked in the presence of Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, and Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways VK Singh, it added.

The MMLP will be a freight handling facility with rail and road accessibility, comprising of container terminals, cargo terminals (bulk, break-bulk), warehouses, cold storage, facilities for mechanised material handling and value-added services such as customs clearance with bonded storage yards, quarantine zones, testing facilities and warehousing management services etc. along with other associated facilities.

Hub and Spoke model

Developed under a ‘Hub & Spoke’ model, it will integrate multiple modes of freight transport through highways, railways and inland waterways. The agreement underlines the co-operation and collaboration model between the three bodies in order to achieve efficiency in logistics movement within the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said, MMLPs will ensure that cargo is swapped or shifted from and to waterways, Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) and road transport. This is building the nation through Gati Shakti.

Sonowal said, the agreement is an earnest attempt towards realisation of this objective. India will immensely benefit with the coming up of such efficient stations. MMLPs are designed to untie the cobweb of logistics movement and enliven the logistics sector to put the economy into the fast lane of growth.

The MMLP project is poised to develop state-of-the-art large scale warehousing facilities for different types of commodities, to become a one stop solution for all services related to cargo movement like warehousing, custom clearance, parking, maintenance of trucks etc.

Technology-driven technology

It will focus on a technology driven implementation for a state-of-the-art freight management system. Many value added services like packaging, repackaging and labelling will also be available in these projects.

The NHLML is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of National Highway Authority (NHAI), while IWAI is a statutory authority under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. The RVNL is a wholly owned Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Railways.