The Indian Subcontinent region has some of the most exciting opportunities on the planet – but expect the unexpected. The Covid-19 crisis has been a case in point.

MFC Transport hauled a 387- tonne, 45.2 m long reactor to Hazira port by road on SPMTs for loading on to a vessel bound for Kolkata port.

The Indian Subcontinent is one of the most exciting project and heavy lift markets in the world today. Development has been moving at a breakneck pace, and while some projects have been paused because of the Covid-19 crisis, there is every sign that schemes will resume at a rapid rate once the region’s teeming millions are able to move around the country freely again.

However, the sheer pace of the country’s development can in itself cause problems for transport companies. Bridges and other structures can appear over major routes at a few weeks’ notice, negating months of careful and meticulous planning – so operators have to be on their toes.

As Pawan Agarwal, director of Mumbai- headquartered MFC Transport, put it: “India has a vast geographical expanse; it is an emerging and developing country and as such you have to be updated continuously on new road developments.”

Projects scheduled in Pakistan’s Annual Development Programme for 2020 have all been delayed for at least the next six months.

Heavy lift operators can be wrong-footed by the erection of new tollbooths or pedestrian bridges, often just a few months after surveys have been carried out. “Getting permissions to dismantle toll booths or footbridges is a tedious job, though I am proud that we can say that to date there has been no situation where we have not found a solution to overcome any operational difficulties,” said Agarwal.

The Covid-19 crisis and subsequent lockdowns have unsettled the heavy lift and project freight market in India, as it has in much of the rest of the world. But now there are tentative signs of a recovery.

Read more in HLPFI’s December edition of the magazine.