Streamlining the ceramic supply chain for unprecedented growth

In the dynamic economic landscape of India, the ceramic industry has emerged as a significant actor, casting a radiant influence over both bustling urban centers and quaint rural areas. While the spotlight has traditionally shone over the metropolises, it is crucial to acknowledge the pivotal role played by Tier II and III cities in fostering the growth and sustainability of the ceramic industry.

India’s Tier II and Tier III cities have undergone a remarkable transformation, marked by increased disposable incomes, urbanization, and the burgeoning aspirations of their residents. These factors have played a pivotal role in fueling the heightened demand for ceramic products, contributing significantly to the industry’s success.

The Indian ceramic sector, particularly in these cities, has witnessed impressive expansion. In the fiscal year 2022, the industry showcased a remarkable resurgence following the pandemic, with the floor and wall tiles segment reaching an impressive valuation of INR 261 billion and production volume reaching a substantial 707 million square meters (MSM).

A noteworthy highlight of this growth was the 15% surge in demand for ceramic tiles during the same fiscal year—a significant uptick largely driven by the progress in Tier II and III cities. Going forward, the Indian ceramic industry (with the significant contribution of ceramic tiles) is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.1% between 2023-2028.

The city of Morbi will play a crucial role in this growth as the town is renowned both nationally and internationally.

Morbi: the Ceramic Capital 

The city which is home to over 1,000 ceramic manufacturing units, contributes to almost 70% of India’s ceramic production. Recognized as the “Ceramic City of India,” Morbi boasts an impressive annual turnover exceeding 20,000 crores. On the global level, Morbi is known for its contribution of over 13% in global ceramic manufacturing. As a result, India holds the second position as the largest ceramic manufacturer after China.

One of the major reasons contributing to Morbi’s tile is its years-old production of naliya (roof tiles). Thanks to abundant raw materials, adept labor, and favorable infrastructure, the city easily transitioned from a famous Naliya manufacturer to a modern-era ceramic product manufacturer.

This small town in Gujarat, situated 35 km from the sea, transports ceramics to Kolkata and beyond, mostly cities that are situated more than 2,000 kilometers away.  

It has earned the prestigious Town of Export Excellence (TEE) certification from the Indian Ministry of Commerce. In addition to its cutting-edge technology in ceramic production, Morbi achieves a remarkable output of approximately 14,000 square meters of ceramic tiles each day.

Several factors have contributed to Morbi’s recognition as the “Ceramic Capital of India,” including strong support from both state and central governments, ample land for establishing large manufacturing units, strategic connectivity with key cities like Ahmedabad, Rajkot, and Wankaner, convenient access to Mundra and Kandla ports for global exports, reliable gas and power supply, a skilled workforce, and the availability of quality materials. The state government further bolsters Morbi’s ceramic sector with subsidies, lower interest rates, tax allowances, and other forms of support.

Considering the unprecedented growth, the industry is expected to foresee, there is a need to smoothen the transportation and logistics of ceramics from Morbi to cities like Kolkata and beyond.

Seamless transportation of ceramics 

Ceramic products, encompassing sanitaryware, kitchenware, and roof tiles, commence their journey from this small town in Gujarat with road collection, followed by a rail terminal transfer, predominantly traversing by train. The final leg, covering the last mile to Kolkata and beyond, is then accomplished by road.

Supporting this growing industry requires the ceramics retailers, producers, transporters, and handling contractors to have a tailor-made trade route and a streamlined process that allows them to order, pay, and seamlessly track their consignments in one centralized platform.

In the latest developments in supply chain efficiency for ceramic transportation, industry leaders are leveraging cutting-edge technologies and collaborative strategies. Real-time visibility tools, such as GPS tracking and RFID tags, are being implemented to monitor the movement of ceramics, ensuring timely deliveries and proactive issue resolution. Companies are optimizing routing through route planning software, minimizing transit times, and reducing costs. Strategic supplier collaboration and inventory management are also playing pivotal roles, guaranteeing a steady flow of materials and preventing stock-related challenges.

Having a door-to-door movement service, including pick up and drop at multiple points can add to their advantages. This streamlined process not only expedites order placement but also introduces transparency and competitive pricing in transactions.

The integration of advanced technologies, including IoT and blockchain, is also enhancing transparency and security in the supply chain. These innovations, will collectively shape a more reliable, cost-effective, and customer-centric approach to ceramic transportation, and give the much-needed impetus to a sector that’s poised to grow.