The goods and services tax (GST), rolled out in 2017, has replaced several indirect taxes on goods and services levied by the central and state governments to simplify the tax system for businesses. For interstate enterprises, shipping firms, and manufacturers, the introduction of a country-wide uniform tax regime put an end to lengthy documentation and ensured smooth transportation of goods.
This combined with the introduction of the E-Way Bill in April 2018 means reduced transportation, storage, and warehouse costs. The E-Way Bill eliminates checkpost delays during interstate movement by giving business the ability to quickly document and share cargo information. This helps by reducing the transit time and operating costs of delivery vehicles. In the pre-GST era, while American truck drivers regularly covered 800 kilometres per day, their Indian counterparts could only manage around 300 kilometres over 10 to 12 hours due to delays at every interstate checkpoint. After the implementation of GST, trucks in India can cover around 400 to 450 kilometres a day. For the logistics sector, the increase in daily distance, reduction in maintenance costs, and improvement in transportation efficiency holds significance.
The GST also increased employment opportunities within logistics and supply chain companies. Statistics show the demand for skilled professionals in these sectors has risen by 35% since the launch of GST. Many firms have hired data analysts, skilled courier services workers, and even freelancers who act as intermediaries between these companies and their manufacturing partners.
With GST easing goods transportation, the amount of goods transported should increase, requiring bigger storage spaces. Moving forward, many expect the appearance of larger warehouse spaces and hubs that act as nerve centres, improving customer delivery organisation to accommodate rising demand. This shows GST has brought in plenty of good tidings for the logistics industry, speeding up transportation of goods, lowering operation costs, ensuring timely delivery, increasing job opportunities, and improving infrastructure through better quality warehouses.