Moving time-sensitive cargo in India

Published: Monday, September 9, 2019

India’s over $300 billion logistics market is growing rapidly. CriticaLog is one of the first companies to get into the niche logistics segment.

CriticaLog was incorporated in 2013 and it started commercial operations a year later.  It has fast spread its wings across India amid growing demand for efficient supply chain management  solutions for different kinds of products.

In India, the logistics sector is fast evolving from a fragmented/disorganised segment into a pragmatic and dynamic industry with several players leading the change. Experts and analysts largely attribute this to the impact of ecommerce (online retail sales) and on-demand delivery start-ups such as Dunzo, Freshmenu, Zomato, etc.,
making the logistics industry more transparent and dynamic.

And niche players are emerging in the complex logistics sector catering to specific segments like the timesensitive and temperature-sensitive market.

Taking the lead here in India is CriticaLog, a Bengaluru-based supply chain management firm which focuses on critical logistics. The products it transport could range from electronics to life-saving drugs. The criticality of movement is determined based on the emergency of delivery or the way it is transhipped by any mode of transport.

Co-founder and CE of CriticaLog Sujoy Guha states, “Our system provides shipment details and activity tracking with pro-active event exception alerts. Apart from the standard features ‘eCritica’ allows for innovative IT Solutions that are vital for critical logistics operations.” Some of the features are updates and alerts via email and SMS. It also offers multiple tracking identifiers such as Shipper, PO, Goods Receive Notes, IDs, invoices, verification for delivery accuracy, scanned POD images, ease of connectivity with the customer’s ERP system and Android tablets for remote data entry and barcode scanning.

Differentiated logistics solutions

Guha underlines the importance of time-sensitive cargo. “For years, the end-consumer had not tried to assess differentiated logistics solutions for time-sensitive cargo. They used to go
with the normal bulk cargo, mainly due to lack of differentiated network and handling capabilities,” he said,
thus, began the need to set up a company that clearly focused on this niche segment.

CriticaLog was incorporated in 2013 and it started commercial operations a year later. It has fast spread its wings across India amid growing demand for efficient supply chain management solutions for different kinds of products.

CriticaLog is funded by ‘LoGon Investments’, created by the founding family of Gondrand, a global logistics
company present in Switzerland since 1902. Gondrand Holding AG is active in 3PL, warehousing, customs clearing, and supply chain management.

Pan-India warehousing facilities

“We have our own warehousing facilities in city centres as against others which have their facilities out of city limits. This helps us have a quick turnaround in terms of emergencies like ATMs crashing, need of a critical part for an airliner, need of a very important and critical medicine for a patient, among other
situations,” Guha explained.

“We are currently working with over 300 brands and ship their timesensitive, price-sensitive critical cargo. We operate with a hub-to-hub model along with strategic stocking, located at city centres. Our end customers get faster response. We have established 17 strategic stocking centres at city centres with an average floor space of 4,000 square feet.”

‘Hub to hub’ model

CriticaLog offers faster pick up and distribution operations for Tier I and Tier II cities with emphasis on direct network deliveries using owned and dedicated resources.

Its fundamentals are clear critical logistics vision and planning; process oriented and disciplined; innovative,
effic ient and user-friendl y IT backbone; easy access to skilled and experienced logisticians; trusted network, safe and secure; result oriented and customer-focused and excellent coverage across India. The total landed cost is lower as there is inventory cost savings. Also it is ‘Hub to hub’ as against ‘Hub and spoke’, wherever commercially possible.

It has highly flexible and scalable first mile and last mile operations, configured for speedy deliveries across customers, customized network to arrange critical deliveries on demand.

Its specialisation is critical handling of precious and high value merchandise packaging, armed and secure transport, special handling by airlines, insurance and personal hands-on management at every step of the movement of the goods.

CriticaLog lays emphasis on safety and security of products and the Safe Hubs have safes and cages; CCTV surveillance; armed protection; GPS monitored vehicles etc. It uses innovative and proprietary IT technology to track and trace on real time on Google maps, monitor major hubs and vehicles across the country remotely at a centralized Command Centre.

The company’s focus areas include
a) precious logistics (high value and precious metals and gems, gold and silver jewellery covering major metro,
Tier II and III cities) b) exhibition management ( full logistics responsibility for complete and timely forward and reverse movements) and c) Inventory management (secured cross docking solution involving secured forward stocking locations, vaulting services and CC T V monitoring).

Guha said in the company’s efforts to provide comprehensive logistics solution, it has tied up with leading insurance companies that gives substantial fidelity and legal liability insurance covers for unforeseen losses. It also arranges economical transit marine insurance on a transactional basis, on demand basis.

Close relationship with airlines

CriticaLog’s air service is built on the platform of flexible domestic flight schedules offered by leading commercial airlines.

“Our close relationship with the airlines, on-demand pick-up, control led network , process orientation at every stage – overlaid with rigorous security cover makes thi s service truly unique and customized,” said Guha. Critical Air provides an express mode of transport, aimed at highly critical shipments. Currently, it covers domestic time sensitive service, such as, specialized handling for spares and component s , ensuring timely, accurate and intact air express deliveries.

It also provides solutions to higher value e-commerce products, where expectations from all ends surpass
normal courier delivery, both in service and monetary gain.

Critical Air services span the full range for this product category and include – domestic time sensitive and
efficient reverse logistics. It is planning to roll out global critical logistics operations shortly, starting
with short haul operations in Asia.

Healthcare and bio-pharma growing segments

Another important segment that it caters to is health care and pharmaceutical products which require controlled storage and transit conditions to protect their quality and distributors are required to record temperature data during the entire product life cycle.

Low and high-risk products such as vaccines, insulin and blood products, normally require storage in either ambient, frozen or chilled conditions. This entails concise handling processes of Shipper packed units and use of temperature-monitoring devices, as needed, to demonstrate compliance with the laid down guidelines and records submitted.

CriticaLog has mastered this process. Critical Life is all about ensuring fast, safe and secure transportation of time and temperature sensitive healthcare products between manufacturers, clinics, hospitals, diagnostic laboratories and research centers.

It is also about comprehensive door-to-door service that includes ground pick up, express air and ground delivery with global healthcare standard and logistics process quality, tailored to individual client needs.

It has standard operating procedures (SOPs) for a range of life science products including blood samples, stem cells, clinical trial kits etc. It provides detailed transport schedules to meet required window of operations for individual investigating sites, besides providing assistance in import permits, ministerial clearances etc.

Rush hour

CriticaLog has another service called ‘Critical Special’ where ‘Rush’ deliveries (2 hour/4 hour/Next flight out/next business day); reverse logistics, smart inventory management and smart packaging for secured products.

“Our skills, experience and personal involvement helps in improving logistical efficiency and reduce overall costs for the client. CriticaLog offers innovative and customized logistical solutions that allows the companies to
focus time and effort on its core business, while we manage the logistics.”

The company has set trends and understands that the market is really huge in India, driven totally by consumer dynamics. At present, the country’s logistics industry is worth $300 billion and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 12.17 percent by 2020, according to the ‘Logistics Market in India 2015-2020’ by market.