The Rise of Cold Chain Logistics

As India started the distribution of COVID-19 vaccination from the Serum
Institute of India’s facility in Pune in Maharashtra kick started on January 16,
the transportation of this vaccine involved a whole lot of planning the entire
logistics functions.
The pre-Covid era saw cold chain logistics as a need only by a few business
verticals such as ice-cream industry, frozen food, fresh produce from across
the globe, dairy industry and a few pharmaceuticals companies that had to
maintain certain drugs under strict temperature regime during and after
transport. A part from these few industries, cold chain logistics was completely
shrouded in the dark considered only to be a painstaking plus an expensive
process to put together a robust cold chain logistical system accessed by a

few niche industry sectors that needed them the most. Today, in the post-
Covid era and especially after the vaccine being introduced, India as a country

has woken up to a new era in the field of logistics or has given rise to the
dawn of a hidden star called cold chain logistics. The Indian Cold Chain
industry was expected to grow annually at 28% the total value of cold chain
industry in India is expected to reach ~USD 13 billion through increased
investments, modernization of existing facilities, and establishment of new
ventures via private and government partnerships thereby, presenting a great
opportunity for foreign companies. Cold stores are the major revenue
contributors of the Indian Cold Chain industry and are majorly used for storing
various food and pharmaceutical products. However, the market which was
gradually getting organised and realigning their focus towards multipurpose
cold storages facilities are rising. According to industry estimates,
approximately 104 million metric tons of perishable produce is transported
between cities each year and key growth drivers include meat products
export, rising demand for confectionary, frozen food etc.
The Government of India had recognised the need for development of cold
chain logistics as an essential next step in upgrading India’s logistical footprint
across the globe and therefore had worked out various incentives for
promoting growth within the logistical sector by developing road and rail
infrastructure, development of ocean ports and air cargo divisions across the
country. The Indian markets started witnessing a transition from being a
traditional cold storage facility to a fully integrated cold chain projects which
would bring about efficiency and increased productivity of cold chain
companies in the post-Covid era. With favourable government initiative such
as subsidy schemes for setting up a cold storage facility and purchasing
standalone reefer vehicles and SAMAPADA Scheme will support the
development of cold chain infrastructure. Moreover, major dairy companies,
retail chains and online grocers have received federal approval to set up 101
cold chains which will bring in an investment of INR 3,100 crore in the sector.

Such developments and growing investment from public and private sector is
projected to propel the market revenue.
Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, reviewed
the draft National Logistics Policy and the proposed action plan for
implementation of the policy prepared by the Department of Logistics, Ministry
of Commerce and Industry. The draft National Logistics Policy has been
prepared in consultation with the Ministries of Railways, Road Transport and
Highways, Shipping and Civil Aviation. Forty-six Partnering Government
Agencies (PGAs) inputs were analysed in detail for consideration in the Policy.
He also said that a central scheme for cold chain across the country especially
for fruits, vegetables and perishables may be made part of the action plan of
the draft logistics policy so that it improves efficiency and reduces the loss in
agricultural produce of farmers.
The path forward in developing a state of the art logistical corridor for India is
becoming very clear as the country gears up to implement some significant
changes. These changes in the logistical sector not only brings growth to the
countries revenues it also opens up door to various employment opportunities.
Currently the logistical sector in India employs more than 35 million plus
people and the sector is expected to the largest job creator in the country by
2022 as claimed by market experts and various market reports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *