New Delhi: In an effort to include shipping companies as part of its value chain, the state-owned Container Corporation of India (Concor) has invited global bids from freight forwarding companies and feeder vessel operators.
The public sector logistics company plans to involve these shipping companies in a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to develop, finance and operate international freight logistics services for catering to exim trade requirements of shippers.
The logistics services would be developed by using Concor’s terminal network of inland container depots (ICDs) and container freight stations (CFS) located throughout the country.
“The idea behind this endeavour is to involve shipping companies in our logistical network of ICDs and CFSs, so that we can provide end to end solutions,” said Rakesh Mehrotra, managing director,Concor.
Concor normally uses its container train rail network to provide logistical support and involvement of shipping companies would widen its base in the country, the company said.
The initiative comes at a time when Concor, in agreement with the Railway Ministry, has opened its container routes to 14 private logistics companies, allowing them to run their own container trains on both exim as well as domestic routes.
As per the agreement, companies are supposed to set up their ICDs and bring in their container trains, but till the time they don’t have these, the ministry has allowed them to use Concor’s ICDs.
Now with Concor inviting tenders from shipping companies to set up a SPV to expand its operations, it would be able to create logistical solutions with best international practices and IT support, said Mehrotra.
Concor is also diversifying by increasingly offering logistics services in the road, sea and air space.
Leveraging its cold chain strength, the company has entered the back-end retail business where it procures and supplies fruits to big retailers.
As part of the expansion plan, the company initiated steps to expand the air cargo business in the country, which is growing at around 20% per annum.
Concor plans to build two air cargo complexes in Goa and the North East, which will give the company a wider access to the domestic market and reduce its over-dependence on the railways for business. The air cargo complex in the North East would entail an investment of Rs45 crore.