Hyderabad: Carrier Transicold, the transport refrigeration segment of USD 58 billion United Technologies, is in talks with Indian Railways to introduce refrigerated wagons for perishable goods transportation, a top official of Carrier Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Ltd said.'
The cold-chain market is expected to get a big boost with allowing foreign direct investment into retail, said Pankaj Mehta, country head and assistant director, Carrier Transicold division.
Carrier Transicold is a division of Carrier Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Ltd in India.
"We are in discussions with Railways for getting into refrigerated wagons. We hope that will also materialise. As of now railways do not offer such service," Mehta told PTI.
"It may be finalised very soon. The government is pushing all these initiatives. We are also working with several ministries," he added without telling when the issue will be finalised.
According to him, in India fruits and vegetables and meat and pharma products are moved, mostly in the frozen condition. But now as consumption patterns are changing and with urbanisation going up, there is an increased use of refrigerated vehicles for moving products such as milk, ready to use food items.
"About 104 million tonnes perishable produce is moved in India every year. However, only 4 million tonnes is transported in refrigerated vehicles while 100 million tonnes is moved in normal vehicles," he said.
Mehta said Carrier is in the process of introducing multi-model containers which can be put on trains, trailers and cargo ships also. These containers are available in the rest of the world.
He hoped that with the government allowing FDI in retail, the consignment sizes will go up and thereby transportation cost will be reduced.
According to industry reports, approximately 30 per cent of food produce is wasted due to inefficient methods of storage, handling and transportation.