India's Cold Chain Sector Poised for Robust Growth

NCCD is revising technical standards and minimum guidelines to implement cold-chain components in the sector.

India's Cold Chain Sector Poised for Robust Growth

India's cold chain sector, a vital component of the logistics ecosystem, is set to witness significant growth and innovation in the coming years, according to Dr. Surendra Ahirwar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

Speaking at FICCI's Cold Chain and Logistics Summit, Dr. Ahirwar noted that the cold chain sector currently has a turnover of about Rs 2 lakh crore and is growing at a rapid rate of over 10%. He said, "As per one estimate, we are going to reach a Rs 5 lakh crore limit, maybe by 2030 or 2032."

The Joint Secretary emphasized the importance of the industry's various initiatives, including innovations, infrastructure creation, and partnerships between industry and academia. He cited examples such as temperature-controlled warehousing, ice battery technology, and efficient packaging solutions as positive developments in the sector.

Dr. Ahirwar also highlighted the government's efforts to create an enabling environment for innovation and efficiency in the cold chain sector. He mentioned the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan initiative, which catalyzes accelerated infrastructure development for the logistics sector, including temperature-controlled warehouses. He also referred to the National Logistics Policy launched in 2022, which comprehensively addresses various aspects of the logistics sector, including the cold chain.

Speaking on the occasion, Asheesh Fotedar, Chief Operating Officer of the National Centre for Cold-Chain Development (NCCD), Ministry of Agriculture, highlighted NCCD’s initiatives aimed at bolstering India's cold chain infrastructure, with a focus on sustainability, efficiency, and innovation. NCCD is revising technical standards and minimum guidelines to implement cold-chain components in the sector. The revised guidelines will serve as a roadmap for all central and state government bodies setting up cold chain facilities nationwide. Additionally, NCCD is engaging with stakeholders to identify the problems faced by reefer truck owners and working out policy recommendations for the ministry.

In addition to the guidelines, NCCD is developing a mobile application to digitalize data related to cold chain components. This is expected to increase capacity utilization, reduce fuel costs, and minimize the carbon footprint. The application will also capture relevant logistic data for policymaking and analytics.

Amit Kumar, Co-Chairman of the FICCI Committee on Logistics and Director of Pristine Logistics & Infraprojects, stressed the importance of developing sustainable infrastructure and adopting smart technologies to optimize energy usage and reduce environmental impact. "We stand at a pivotal juncture where technology diffusion, policy initiatives, and market demand present unparalleled opportunities for the cold chain sector. By placing sustainability at the forefront, we can mitigate environmental impact, uphold economic viability, and fortify food security," Kumar stated.

On the occasion, the FICCI-Grant Thornton Bharat Report on “Cold Chain Dynamics: Mapping India's Logistics Transformation” was also released. The report highlights India's dynamic food processing industry, emphasizing the crucial role of the cold chain sector in light of challenges such as infrastructure gaps and high costs.

Subscribe here to get interesting stuff and updates!