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Deepak Pai, an engineering graduate and a

postgraduate in management from United States, was

working in Transport Corporation of India (TCI), the market leader in conventional transportation. He

established Speed Cargo as an express cargo distribution company after leaving TCI. Speed Cargo, started

with its head office at Hyderabad, as a small cargo specialist in 1989, upgrading itself to desk-to-desk cargo

in 1992, cargo management services in 1995 and became a public limited company when it was listed in

Bombay Stock Exchange in 1999. The company was maintaining a strong customer base of prestigious

companies like Acer, Cadilla, Sony, Panasonic, Titan, Dabur and Hitachi to name a few.

Speed Cargo Limited (SCL), a leader in the express cargo movement pioneered in distribution and

supply chain management solutions in India. It differentiated the concept of cargo, from conventional

transport industry by offering door pickup, door delivery, assured delivery date and containerized

movement. It had a turnover of Rs.3600 million in 2005-06. The company had a strong team of 6400

employees with the fleet of 2000 vehicles on road and an extensive network covering 3,20,000 kilometers

per day and a reach of 594 out of 602 districts in India. In addition to this, it was having a well-structured

multimodal connectivity and 6lakh square feet mechanized warehousing facility. Warehousing facilities were

comprised of the most modern storied system and material handling equipment offering very high level of

operational efficiency. The four modes of transport - Road, Air, Sea and Rail were seamlessly integrated,

enabling SCL to effortlessly reach anytime anywhere.

The international wing of SCL took care of the SAARC countries and Asia Pacific region covering 220

countries with a specialized India-centric perspective. The company had gone online by connecting 90

percent of its offices to provide web-centric solutions to its customers.

The company also offered money back guarantee to express cargo services. The services offered

were customized for corporate, small and medium enterprises, cluster markets, wholesale markets and

individuals. The state-of-the-art technology made things easier for the customers whose cargo could be

tracked and traced in the simplest manner, because SCL had an effective tracking system. SCL believed that

best of technology enabled best of service, and its outlays on providing the IT edge had always resulted in

innovative services and solutions. SCL, in its day-to-day operations, used technologically advanced

equipments like Fork Lifters, Hydraulic Trucks, Hand Trolly, Drum Trolly, Rubber Pads cushioning, Taper

Rollers to move big crates, color codes for identification to delivery what it promised.

Between 1989, when company was born, and 1995, SCL started a unique value added service called

Cash-On-Delivery for the advantage of its customers. SCL introduced Call Free Number for the first time in

the logistics industry in India. To establish largest network in air and to facilitate faster delivery of

shipments, SCL entered into a tie-up with Indian Airlines in 1996; The Company introduced the concept of


3 rd party logistics and later started offering complete logistics and supply chain solutions in 1997. The courier

service Suvidha later rechristened as Zipp was launched in 1998. The company entered into a tieup with

Bhutan and Maldives Postal Departments to expand its operations to SAARC countries in 1999. The Speed

Cargo Development Center was set up at Pune in India for training of its employees in the same year.

An exclusive cargo train in association with Indian Railways between Mumbai and Kolkata was

launched in 2001. Based on a survey conducted by Frost and Sullivan, SCL was conferred the Voice of

Customer Award for being the best logistics company in 2003. After simplifying the internal process for

faster and better communication, and a smarter way to work, SCL set up its corporate office at Singapore in

2003 to create international hub with an aim to reach out to the world. The company introduced a

mechanized racking system in the automated warehouse at Panvel (Maharastra) in 2004.

SCL was sensitive to the avenues where it could contribute to building a better society. Displaying

continuous social responsibility, SCL associated itself with several community development programs and

contributed generously to many social causes. SCL was the first to build makeshift houses for 400 families

who were affected during a massive earthquake in Bhuj district of Gujarat in India during January 2001.

They reached the devastated village the same day to provide food, clothes, medication and water to the

affected people.

In 2003, SCL accepted to develop one of the government schools located at Banjara Hills in

Hyderabad, and built a building with basic facilities like classrooms, staff rooms and toilets, and provided

furniture for students and staff. The housekeeping and security of the school, which was now having 1100

students, was also taken care of by the company. After Tsunami, one of the worst natural disasters that

struck South East Asia in December 2004 leaving over 10 lakh people dead and over 4 million displaced, SCL

was on the rescue scene as it brought in food, water, clothing, medication, a team of doctors and cooks, and

provided the affected people with essential utensils. After rehabilitating the people in Nagapattnam and

Cuddalore, it took up the development of a high school in Nagore where 500 students came in from the

Tsunami affected families. SCL also actively participated in Kargil contributions and other rescue and

rehabilitation works in India.


SCL believed that in the age of convergence, it had kept pace with time with its infrastructure, people and

technological capabilities for moving cargo to its destination on time, by making intelligent movements in air

and sea, as well as on road and rail. The company had experience of handling wide range of materials

including confidential papers related to University examination and sensitive goods like polio drops and life-

saving medicines. In view of the strengths of its competitors such as DHL, Safexpress and Blue Dart, the

company had enhanced services with a greater focus on cargo management and customer satisfaction with

The Indian Institute Of Business Management & Studies


the new operations backed by better strategic planning. To achieve its aim, SCL had strategically tied-up

with Jubli Commercials, an lATA accredited freight forwarder, which started its operations as Air Cargo


The company was confident that it was set to become 24 x 7 one-stop solution provider for all freight

forwarding services including customs clearance for international cargo. SCL having 40 percent share in

express distribution business was developing a huge centralized warehouse on 22 acres of land at Nagpur in

India. The centralized warehouse, which was about to be commissioned, was designed as a major hub or

express distribution center for 200 smaller hubs as its spokes catering to the needs of its customers across

India. SCL believed that it is a concept, a vision and an idea ahead of its time, which looked at a global

perspective and was constantly reinventing itself in delivering the future of logistics.


1. What made SCL a leader in the logistics industry?

2. Discuss the strategies adopted by SCL for its survival in the competitive scenario.

3. Comment on the contributions of SCL to society.

4. What steps the company should take to globalize its network reach?

Discuss the strategies adopted by SCL for expansion.

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