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Mar. 03, 2014

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42 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE MARCH 3.2014 TRANS-PACIFIC MARITIME SPECIAL REPORT INDIA'S INDIA'S LONG, LONG, BUMPY ROAD BUMPY ROAD A YELLOW TRUCK festooned with black tassels and hex symbols to ward off bad luck passed our van on the right as we jounced over the potholes that slowed us to a crawl on the road between Jai- pur and Jodhpur, India. The truck, similar to many I saw on a recent three- week road trip through the northern Indian states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, was different in only one way: It was carrying a 20-foot container, the only box I spotted in hundreds of miles of tortuous driving. The blue box bore the familiar APL logo. As a New Yorker inured to the sight of the mostly 40-foot boxes that popu- late the U.S. interstate system, I wasn't surprised by the dearth of containers moving on India highways, if you can call them that. Few roads between India's cit- ies are divided. On those that are, mostly toll roads, the stretches where a driver can travel more than 50 mph don't last more than 10 miles before new construc- tion or repaving forces vehicles to detour into slower-moving lanes. Detours and potholes aren't the only hazards. Cows, sacred in the Hindu reli- A trip through the emerging country underscores how far India has to go to become the Next Big Thing By Peter T. Leach

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