Northern Cargo Services’ impactful rise in India’s road transportation

In an interview with Harinder Pal Kaur, Logistics Head at Northern Cargo Services (NCS), Rajesh Rajgor explores NCS’s journey from dairy logistics to a leading force in India’s road transportation sector since its inception in 1985. Through strategic partnerships, nationwide coverage, and a focus on innovation, NCS has solidified its reputation for reliability and adaptability, despite industry challenges.

Established in 1985 by Sardar Jodh Singh Ji, Northern Cargo Services (NCS) has emerged as a cornerstone in India’s transportation industry. Initially conceived to tackle logistical hurdles within the dairy sector, the company swiftly transitioned to offering comprehensive solutions across various industries. Harinder Pal Kaur, Logistics Head at NCS, asserts, “Our journey began with a vision to revolutionize transportation, ensuring reliability and efficiency.”

NCS is a vital arm of the esteemed JIS Group and the backbone of NCS’s operations lies in its diverse fleet, comprising over 600 vehicles tailored to meet a spectrum of cargo needs. From trucks and tankers to containers and tractor trailers, each vehicle is meticulously selected to ensure seamless transport. Kaur comments, “Our fleet’s versatility ensures we can cater to the diverse demands of our clientele, offering tailored solutions for every cargo type.”

Over the years, NCS has forged robust partnerships with industry titans such as Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd., Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, MRF Tyre solidifying its status as a trusted leader in the market. “Our partnerships exemplify our commitment to reliability and excellence,” notes Kaur, underlining NCS’s dedication to fostering enduring relationships.

With 35 strategically positioned branch offices across India, NCS ensures nationwide coverage and efficient service delivery. However, Kaur reveals ambitious expansion plans, particularly targeting the growing North-East region and bolstering services in North India. “Expanding our footprint is essential to meeting evolving client needs and driving sustainable growth,” she adds.

NCS’s Formula for Success
Central to NCS’s success is its workforce of 1500 dedicated individuals, augmented by cutting-edge technology. Kaur elaborates, “Our emphasis on leveraging technology like GPS tracking and ERP systems ensures operational efficiency and client satisfaction.” Moreover, NCS’s strategic distribution of manpower and infrastructure underpins its ability to provide reliable services while fueling growth ambitions.

In addressing workforce challenges, NCS takes a proactive stance, championing diversity and inclusivity. “Respect for all religions and cultures is ingrained in our ethos,” Kaur affirms, highlighting the company’s policy of equal treatment based on performance. Moreover, innovative solutions mitigate driver shortages, fostering loyalty and accountability within the workforce.

Technological initiatives further elevate NCS’s operational prowess. A GPS tracking system enables real-time monitoring of vehicles, optimizing routes for timely deliveries. ERP software streamlines internal processes, enhancing efficiency across departments. Additionally, Fuel Safety devices & Safety lock technology safeguards fuel usage, minimizing operational costs and environmental impact.

From specialized services in LPG transportation to niche solutions for the tyre industry, NCS continually adapts to meet evolving client needs. “Our data-driven approach ensures agility and responsiveness,” Kaur asserts. As NCS continues to innovate and expand, its commitment to excellence remains unwavering, solidifying its position as an inspiration of efficiency in India’s transportation landscape. “Understanding and meeting our clients’ needs is at the heart of our operations,” emphasizes Kaur, reflecting on the company’s commitment to client satisfaction.

Tailored Solutions with NCS’s Versatile Fleet
NCS proudly serves major clients such as Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd., Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd., MRF Tyres, and Gro Digital, among others. “Our partnerships underscore our position as an industry leader,” Kaur notes. As stated above, with a fleet comprising over 600 vehicles, NCS stands ready to meet a diverse array of transportation needs.

“We prioritize our clients’ diverse transportation requirements,” says Kaur. For instance, NCS invested in 44ft Trailer containers to meet specific client demands, fostering successful collaborations spanning over four years. “One of our clients in the manufacturing sector required 44ft Trailer containers on a trailer basis to transport their goods efficiently,” Kaur elaborates. “We proactively invested in this segment, ensuring the availability of 44ft Trailer containers. This investment facilitated seamless transportation for the client, addressing their specific requirements.”

“We consistently add significant value to our clients,” affirms Kaur, highlighting NCS’s tailored transportation solutions. From timely deliveries to specialized cargo requirements, the company’s extensive fleet and expertise ensure client needs are met and exceeded. “In response to client requirements, we’re developing 50ft length trailers,” reveals Kaur, emphasizing NCS’s commitment to continuous improvement and expansion to better serve clients. “Our proactive approach aims to address the evolving needs of our clients, ensuring we remain at the forefront of the industry.”

Fleet Maintenance & Warehouses
NCS operates nationwide, customizing operations based on demand. “Our ‘on time, every time’ principle drives our operations,” Kaur asserts. The company’s workshops, staffed with 70 trained mechanics and engineers, ensure fleet maintenance and timely deliveries. “Our workshops are equipped with state-of-the-art technology,” says Kaur, highlighting NCS’s commitment to quality service.

“Our warehouse facilities offer world-class infrastructure,” notes Kaur. Strategically located and built to international standards, they prioritize quality assurance, statutory compliance, and proximity to key infrastructure “Our facilities boast world-class infrastructure strategically located across the country, adhering to stringent quality standards and built to Grade A specifications for secure storage. Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements provides clients with peace of mind while strategic expansion across key regions, including ready-to-move options, caters to growing demand,” informs Kaur.

Proximity to vital infrastructure enhances operational efficiency, and leasing opportunities offer clients flexibility to customize space as needed. Overall, NCS’s warehouse facilities, exemplified by the Global Logistics Park (JV), offer a comprehensive solution meeting diverse client need, positioning the company as a trusted partner in the logistics industry.

Employee Development and Embracing Technology
NCS continuously adapts and innovates to meet industry demands. Kaur, underscores the company’s commitment to excellence and sustainability in response to these shifts.
“We recognize the potential benefits that alternative fuel vehicles could bring, but our current focus remains on BSVI-compliant vehicles,” says Harinder Pal Kaur. NCS’s recent acquisition of 150 new BSVI OBD 2 commercial vehicles underscores its dedication to meeting stringent emission standards while ensuring enhanced vehicle performance through advanced technology.

“These acquisitions have been strategically distributed to cater to various operational segments, ensuring efficient transportation solutions for our diverse client base,” notes Kaur. With a portion of trucks serving clients in the tyre manufacturing sector and the remainder supporting operations within the LPG segment, NCS demonstrates its versatility and adaptability to meet specific industry requirements.

As the logistics sector undergoes transformative changes, digitization and infrastructure improvements play pivotal roles. Kaur highlights these positive changes, stating, “The advent of digitization in the transport segment has streamlined processes, while infrastructure enhancements have improved connectivity and reduced transit times.”
NCS’s proactive approach to employee development and integration of state-of-the-art vehicle technology ensures operational efficiency and safety, maintaining a competitive edge in the dynamic logistics landscape.

Mitigating Industry Challenges and Driving Growth
However, challenges persist in the industry, including the lack of facilities on highways and concerns regarding driver safety. “We enforce strict policies to mitigate driver fatigue and promote safety,” says Kaur. NCS’s commitment to driver welfare and adherence to safety protocols contribute to enhanced logistics efficiency within its operations.
Addressing these challenges at a broader industry level requires collaborative efforts and infrastructure development. “Urgent attention should be given to developing facilities along highways to mitigate driver fatigue,” suggests Kaur. Collaborations between stakeholders can expedite the establishment of such facilities, enhancing overall logistics efficiency and driver welfare.

Looking ahead, NCS aims to build on its success and achieve substantial growth. “Our projected target for FY24 reflects our confidence in meeting market demands and optimizing operational efficiency,” states Kaur. With a turnover target of surpassing 260 crore rupees, NCS remains committed to delivering high-quality services and driving innovation in the logistics industry. With a steadfast commitment to excellence, sustainability, and employee welfare, NCS exemplifies the core values of the JIS Group, contributing to its legacy of excellence across diverse sectors.