Mumbai: As an extension to its warehouse and cold-chain parks, the Tata Groupis exploring options to enter into logistics operations that will provide cargo transport services to other companies. As a first step, Tata Realty And Infrastructure Ltd, or Tril, has signed a 50:50 joint venture with Dubai-based Jafza Internationalto develop and operate logistics parks across India. A logistics park is a special area that will have warehouses, including a cold chain for perishables and special divisions for automobiles and containers. This area will act as a place where a company can unload cargo for distribution, redistribution, packaging and repackaging.

Going places: The proposed parks will have special divisions for automobiles and containers.

“We, together with Jafza, are planning to construct logistics parks in seven major locations in the country with an initial investment of Rs2,400 crore," said Dinesh Chandiok, managing director of Tril. Tril, a 100% subsidiary of Tata Sons, is the real estate arm of the Tata Group. “Our aim is to provide comprehensive infrastructure services under one roof, as there is no such facilities which will complement manufacturing and agriculture sector in India. If clients ask for actual transport, we may look at that as well. However, we would be executing all logistics park-related activities through Jafza joint venture," Chandiok said.

Jafza is the international arm of Economic Zones World, the parent company of Jebel Ali Free Zone International and it manages several major logistics park facilities in four countries. To finance these initiatives, Tril is in the process of setting up an offshore fund of $750 million (Rs2,955 crore) and the fund is likely close by November end. “Tril’s logistics parks will be developed on 150-300 acres of land, situated in strategic locations. We have plans to develop 15-20 such logistics parks across the country, in the second phase of development," Chandiok said.

“The manufacturing industry in India is booming, and over the past two years Jafza has invested substantial amount of time and resources in running feasibility studies and developing an India-wide strategy to set up business and logistics parks," said Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah, a group CEO of Ports & Free Zone World, the holding company of DP World.

Dubai World Group, the parent organization of Economic Zones World and Jafza, already has major investments in real estate, infrastructure, logistics and transport industries.