Transportation, Logistical, and Mobility

Reviving and Improving India’s Transportation, Logistical, and Mobility Networks to Address Future Challenges through Sustainability, Resiliency, and Efficiency

The COVID-19 crisis has severely disrupted India’s transportation and logistics networks, creating problems for mobility (urban and rural) models, and has necessitated changes to policies governing them. Moreover, some of the challenges may persist long into the recovery phase and may fundamentally change certain aspects of operations. 

But prior to the COVID-19 crisis, these networks were already undergoing rapid changes and improvements.  For example, the development of dedicated freight corridors, the introduction of digital and remote-monitoring technologies,  multi-modal freight transportation systems, the  changes in urban mobility through  mass-transit systems and ride-sharing systems, the aggregation of markets through the introduction of GST (centralization of logistical capabilities), the UDAN scheme by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the efforts to privatize the Indian Railways, the introduction of new platform models to aggregate transportation by trucking, development of digital capabilities in the logistical networks, etc.

The future of logistical networks and mobility (passengers and freight – urban and rural) remains critical for India to realize its dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy.  It is therefore important to study and understand these fundamental shifts, develop robust solutions, recommend policy modifications, not just to recover from the current crisis but to make these networks better and more resilient in the foreseeable future.


Project 1 : Transportation, Logistics, and Mobility: Re-starting movement of goods and people, both passenger and freight, local and long-distance, across different modes of transport

Faculty: Murali Mantrala, Manish Gangwar, Madhu Viswanathan, Ahmed Timoumi, Abhinav Uppal, & Kiran Pedada

Project Brief : COVID-19 has highlighted several last-mile challenges faced by India in delivering various goods and services to different consumer segments of the population. This crisis gave rise to issues related to the delivery of essential commodities, financial payments and healthcare services. Some of these challenges are due to inefficiencies already embedded in the market before the crisis. 

As we move forward, we have to monitor and learn from the market’s response to the ongoing crisis and its evolution, identify weaknesses in current last-mile delivery systems, and propose new business models and policies to make these systems in different consumer service sectors more efficient and effective.

This project aims to investigate theoretically and empirically (based on both primary survey and secondary data collection) the following two problems:

  • How the COVID crisis is impacting consumer behavior (e.g., preference for shopping and delivery channels, adoption of new channels, brand loyalty, store loyalty, basket size, private label patronage, and product returns behaviors, etc.) and how long-lasting are these effect.
  • Impact of the COVID crisis on traditional kirana stores and modern retailers. How have they managed the emerging last-mile delivery issues (e.g., developing their own delivery capabilities vs. listing on an online platform)? Would they change their distribution strategy post-COVID? Understanding and analysing the attitudes towards delivery services, ownership behaviour, antecedents of key strategic decisions, strategies on retaining/managing consumer satisfaction 

Project 2 : Electric Mobility in Mass transit

Faculty: Sachin Garg

Project Brief : The JSI Project “Incorporation of electric mobility and infrastructure in mass transit networks to develop sustainable transportation networks” investigates ways to accelerate the shift to Electric Vehicles by assisting private players to resolve issues such as land reallocation, infrastructure restructuring, and distribution of the initial costs. Since multiple issues need addressing the project takes a holistic approach and involves various stakeholders. The main scope of the project's currently is to create a transportation model for electric buses that is operationally feasible and financially sustainable in 2nd tier smart cities in India

Project 3 : Planning for an integrated urban transport system

Faculty: Prakash Bagri

Project Brief : This Project looks at the way public transportation services operate in India from the ground up. The project aims to create an innovative turnaround plan to increase efficiency as well as profitability. The goal of the project ranges from exploring technology interventions to exploring best practices from successful models to improve operational efficiency, especially for multi-operator journeys.