Maersk sets sights on reefer-only rail service for North India shippers amid integrator push

Maersk sets sights on reefer-only rail service for North India shippers amid integrator push

August 19, 2023

Maersk is set to roll out a reefer-only containerised rail service between North India and Nhava Sheva Port, propelling its ability to garner more export volumes.

The maiden train trip from Dadri ICD (inland container depot) has been scheduled for 21 August.

According to Maersk (India), the new service is a first for refrigerated exports connecting via Nhava Sheva, designed to feed its ME2 (India-Middle East) string.

Officials also said it will be a scheduled weekly intermodal offering with 90-TEU capacity per train trip, noting that this brings greater reliability for customers dealing in perishable/time-sensitive cargo trade. “Unbroken cold chains are extremely critical for our customers,” the company said.

“In a fast-paced business environment, customers are looking for integrated solutions, where they deal with a single window instead of multiple vendors,” said Prajeesh Ravindranathan, Maersk’s head of cold chain and pharma for South Asia.

Ravindranathan further noted, “Especially in reefers, inventory management from empty pick up till vessel boarding, the customers have to reach out to multiple touch points.”

He went on to say, “To give ease of doing business to customers, we are starting a dedicated weekly rail service for export reefers from Dadri to Nhava Sheva.”

The Dadri-Nhava Sheva reefer train connection is another addition to Maersk’s growing integrated logistics profile in the Indian market. The carrier already runs a string of dedicated block train offerings out of various ICDs in the country, which include what it calls the ‘Pratigya Express’ service from Sonipat ICD in North India (NCR) to APM Terminals Pipavav.

“The NCR is abundant with retail and rice exporters who need a regular connection from their manufacturing facilities to the consumers in the western market,” Maersk previously said, while launching the Pratigya Express Service.

The carrier also explained, “Through our dialogues with our customers, we realised that they faced two challenges – either they don’t have a fixed schedule for departure from Sonipat ICD, and once they get it, they do not necessarily make it to the right vessel connection at the port.”

Cementing its integrator foothold, Maersk recently also announced dedicated trucking services as a niche provider of business-to-business (B2B) last-mile logistics services.

With the global acquisition of LF Logistics, a Hong Kong-based contract logistics company, last year, Maersk has vastly expanded its inland reach in India, adding a further network of 10 warehouses across the country.

Additionally, the Danish carrier has opened new warehouses at several locations in India, including on the outskirts of Mumbai (Bhiwandi) and in northern India (Farrukhnagar).

“Our ambition to support our customers with truly integrated logistics solutions is taking the right shape,” Maersk earlier noted, announcing its inland investment spree.

Most recently, the carrier unveiled a unique e-commerce fulfillment product out of its various Indian warehouse locations, branding it as “a one-country, one-price” offering.

“With this solution, Maersk is taking the complexities out of its customers’ supply chains by providing single window access to all required solutions, such as storage in warehouses, last-mile deliveries and executing return orders, all while providing end-to-end visibility at unified pricing,” it said.

Jenny Daniel
Global Correspondent

Contact email: [email protected]

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