INTERVIEW: Last-mile refrigerated delivery business to witness robust growth

Carrier Transicold, the land transport refrigeration solution vertical of global refrigeration giant Carrier, is expecting  robust growth in the last mile refrigerated delivery business in India as the country moves to adopt cold chain infrastructure in the years ahead. 

Speaking to Indoasiancommodities.com’s Ritwiik Sinha recently, Pankaj Mehta, MD (India & South Asia), Carrier Transicold, emphasised on the inevitability of more innovation and competition coming in the last mile cold chain delivery space.

“In horticulture space, production is no longer the issue. The issue is that of harnessing the production by advanced distribution mechanism. The country has done well in adopting basic cold chain infrastructure (storage and long haul movement) but the last mile delivery to the city centres is still a major gap. They are mostly happening in an unprotected environment and this is here we expect more action with innovative products and solutions,” said Mehta. 

Carrier Transicold is present in the country for more than two decades and is considered the market leader in supplying refrigeration equipment and solutions for refrigerated vehicles in different size categories. However, according to Mehta, more than long-haul transport refrigeration space, the company is now expecting its solutions for city specific vans and vehicles to become the key driver of its India business given the glaring gap in the last mile delivery.

“Considering the growing demand for cold chain solutions to transport perishables like milk, fruits and vegetables, etc. to the final retail point in the city centers, we have offerings like Citimax which can be easily used in a small transportation vehicle It has started doing very well for us and we expect robust growth in this segment,” Mehta said, while declining to share precise growth numbers in recent years.

According to a recent report by the cold chain think-tank and advisory body to the government National Cold Chain Development Centre (NCCD), the country currently has close to 13,000 refrigerated vehicles.

However, considering the growth triggers especially from organized retail, there would be capacity addition requirement of 5,000-6,000 new vehicles every year with majority being in the light commercial vehicle category to improve the last mile delivery system.      

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