Postprint version. Published in Packaging Technology and Science, Volume 20, Issue 6, November 1, 2007, pages 381-392.
Free trade agreements have been on the rise in all regions of the world in the past decade. This has allowed for global distribution and marketing of products in an international market. Products once produced for domestic markets must now be able to compete in international markets without trade barriers. Increased international commerce and manufacturing have forced many packaging and logistics engineers to broaden their true understanding of the global distribution environment. India is a recent entrant on the global arena for manufacturing and services. While China’s economic developments have dominated global headlines, India’s own growth has been impressive as well, with a gross domestic product rising 5% per annum on average since 1990. India is hence primed to follow China as the next low-cost manufacturing super power. With an increasing interest from multinational corporations in conducting commerce with India, there arises a great need to understand the conditions of the transportation infrastructure there to promote logistical understanding of the distribution environments. This paper provides a brief overview of the road and rail transportation environment in India. It also provides the results of a 2 year study that measured and analyzed truck and rail transport vibration for the major freight distribution routes between New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkatta.