Transforming Perishable Logistics With DHL Smartrucking
Indian Transport & Logistics News|May - June 2019

With the demand for fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy and other products on the rise, temperature-controlled transportation in India is estimated to grow at 15 percent per annum from 2016 to 2020. Tapping the immense potential in this space, the German logistics and mail service provider DHL launched DHL SmarTrucking and DHL SmarTrucking Cold Chain last year. This trucking solution leverages technology and data analytics to provide features such as temperature-controlled vehicles fitted with devices that help track location. While vehicles in DHL SmarTrucking are aimed at servicing e-commerce and FMCG, DHL SmarTrucking Cold Chain caters to pharma, dairy and fresh agri-produce companies. With 745 trucks that are currently operational and being utilised at full capacity, the company has 170 dedicated trucks for perishable logistics. In a telephonic conversation with Surya Kannoth, DHL SmarTrucking’s chief sales officer Charles D'Costa throws light on the current trends in perishable logistics and how DHL SmarTrucking is aiming at reducing inefficiencies in the cold chain market.

What is your current assessment of the market for specialised products for perishable logistics?

India has been growing very positively in terms of cold chain requirements. This is primarily because of increased production and also a differential demand. There are large government concerns around the huge amount of wastage that is happening to agricultural and perishable goods in the country. Globally, cold chain is expected to grow at CAGR of 13-15 percent. But the recent research by ASSOCHAM shows that India is pegged at growing at about 19 percent. This growth is primarily driven by a number of factors which are fuelling the economy as well.

If you look at the growth in dairy and confectionary sector, India ranks first in terms of dairy production, and hence, the need for cold chain is ever important. There are also some other emerging trends, which are important for us to assess in the space of processed food and quick service restaurants, which is holding testimony to this growth as well.

Being able to deliver to what exactly a customer expects, compliant to the needs of the sector, understanding the degree of customisation and being able to implement everything that is required yet maintain global standards is what is the need of the hour.

What are some of the trends shaping tomorrow's cold chain market?

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