Factory Gates-4: Safexpress does, not New Holland
Nightmarish. Traffic snarl.
These two words describe the chaotic scenario witnessed near the materials gate of New Holland Tractors, situated in Greater Noida’s Dalotpaurkala industrial hub in Uttar Pradesh. The two kilometers from Toy City towards the southern end of the international tractor giant New Holland Tractors needs special driving skills post-lunch as tractor-laden flatbed or open or closed double-decker carriers exit the factory premises for delivery. Not to be missed is the long line of inbound trucks and containers waiting outside to deliver inwards.
The parking lot for both incoming and outgoing trucks is inadequate is an understatement. This space scarcity has led to both empty and loaded vehicles parked on both sides of the road towards the Toy City side. In the process, this narrows down the motorable path, disrupting smooth and easy traffic flow. Drivers’ stress level shoots up due to such hold-ups.
Surprisingly, New Holland, boasting of a state-of-the-art traffic manufacturing plant, research and development facilities, has not paid adequate attention to the logistics of vehicle movement. It could have earmarked a more considerable parking lot inside the plant. Sixty acres are vast.
It is argued that outbound vehicles reach the plant without receiving load allotment notification, and therefore, it is “their own making.” Why not these logistic service providers create their parking yards in the vicinity of the plant and reach the materials gate only when such load allotment notification is received?
The fleet supervisors counter the argument that most of them have created their parking yards two kilometers away and dispatch their vehicles for loading only after receiving notifications.
For instance, IVC Logistics, one of the leading tractor carriers, has its own parking yard, away from the plant site in the midst of barren agriculture land on lease. Others nestling alongside IVC include LTC Logistics, Mehrab Logistics, DFC and others.
Still, there is chaos at the materials gate. The reason is not too far to seek: the security staff at the materials gate processing inbound vehicles is slow. The material-laden trucks park their vehicles near the gate or on the road wherever space is available and reach the materials gate with a bunch of paper — invoices, lorry receipts, etc. Processing the sheaf of papers takes time, and thus the traffic jam is created.
The road is blocked by the time the driver mounts into his cabin to ride inside the plant via the materials gate. The road is a public utility and not for the exclusive of industries in this hub. So passenger cars and school buses that ply this route cannot pass through and are compelled to take alternate roads. Unless the industrial cluster roads are marked “No Entry” for others who have no business taking this road, the situation will remain a nightmare.
The tractor sales have not plummeted even during Covid. After all, farmers were not prohibited from farming activities even at the height of Covid’s first wave in early 2020 when entire India went into a lockdown. On the contrary, there is a brisk sale. Sonalika Tractors, one of the prominent players, tweeted on November 5, 2021:
“We are overwhelmed to announce that we have clocked our highest ever YTD Oct ’21 sales of 85,068 units with 6.56% growth. In Oct ’21 we have registered 17,130 overall tractor sales with 5.5% growth, surpassing industry growth (est: 3.6%).”
New Holland, occupying the corner plot admeasuring 60 acres, is the most significant contributor to this mayhem. However, come Sunday, look at the scene outside the materials gate of this global tractor giant. Peaceful. Quiet. Empty roads. No vehicles parked on the roadside blocking the free movement of traffic, if any. After all, it was Sunday, November 14, 2021. Sabbath, not to be taken in the religious connotation, but a day of rest and recreation for the logistics babus inside the plant. Therefore, no loading and unloading. Drivers, as a result, also have time to chill out in their way. No wonder IVC Logistics had tractor-laden carriers parked at its yard to move to the dealer point as and when drivers are ready.
Significantly, right across the road to New Holland in the industrial cluster, Safexpress warehouse has no trucks outside its gate. It has made adequate provision for vehicles to move into the premises for parking and docking/undocking activities. The 3PL has done its homework well. Not so New Holland, it appears.