Report from India

While US companies are looking to build plants closer to customers to offset record-high trucking costs and seek out pockets of available workers in a tight labor market, India, a source of plentiful labor and fast-growing economy, is building and has built great infrastructure.  It has been 11 years since my last visit to India.  I see new highways and metros everywhere.  Indian “interstates” are plagued with a variety of vehicles with vastly different speeds.  The main transportation vehicle is the 5 axle “straight” truck that appears completely underpowered and often overloaded.  There are some European-type semi’s, cars dodge slow-moving trucks, weak motor scooters, hundreds of motorbikes, and the ubiquitous auto rickshaw.  Indian towns are total chaos with many narrow roads and traffic acting like schools of fish.  The white stripes on the road are totally ignored.  
 
On a positive note, the national GST tax has eliminated state border barriers that levied different taxes in different states making trading easier.