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Privately-owned logistics company, JM Baxi Group has opened India’s first port-based cold storage at its Sonepat inland container depot (a dry port) in Haryana.
This storage centre will help cut double-handling and save cost for importers and exporters of perishable goods. Joint Managing Director of J M Baxi Group, Dhruv Kotak said the firm runs port terminals and container trains, aims to set up 7-8 such cold stores in India.
JM Baxi group will establish and run the cold stores through its wholly-owned cold chain logistics unit, Boxcold Logistics Pvt Ltd. The cold stores will be managed by Bangalore-based Coldman Logistics, a new entrant into the cold chain business, led by Ravi Kannan, the former CEO of Snowman Logistics.
At present, reefer containers landing at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and perishables exported through India’s biggest container gateway are re-distributed or sourced from all over the country irrespective of the commodity. Imported reefer containers are re-distributed to the north from Nhava Sheva, which results in double-handling.
Poor connectivity between the production and consumption centres, lack of good road infrastructure and varied tax structures across the country has so far prevented large-scale investments in building a nationwide cold-chain storage infrastructure.
The Sonepat cold store is strategically located close to Asia’s largest wholesale fruits and vegetables markets (Azadpur mandi, Delhi), Mega Food Park (Panipat), Delhi NCR region, the upcoming Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). The facility will have storage capacity of 8,300 tonnes, with multiple temperature zones and fully mechanised handling equipment. Boxcold Logistics will invest $10 million to set up each cold store.