Mitsui & Co, one of Japan’s largest trading companies, and a part of the Mitsui Group, has invested in TCI Cold Chain Solutions, which is a cold chain logistics business of Transport Corporation of India, amid rising demand for temperature-controlled logistics solutions in the country, the two companies said in a joint press release.
While details of the deal were not disclosed, Mitsui is eyeing to further develop and expand its food and retail businesses in India, Faisal Ashraf, managing director, Mitsui & Co India, said.
Mitsui’s investment comes at a time when commercial and domestic demand for refrigeration in India is expected to quadruple in India to 2,400,000 tonnes of refrigeration over the next 20 years, according to the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP).
ICAP has also forecast that energy required to keep produce fresh at warehouses will increase almost fifty-fold from 22,000 MWh to 5.2 TWh, while the number of temperature-controlled reefer trucks will grow from approximately 15,000 in 2018 to 400,000 in 2038.
“We expect the cold chain logistics industry in India to expand rapidly, now and in a post-COVID world, in response to growing demand from the pharmaceutical sector particularly for COVID-19 vaccines, changing consumption patterns with a growing preference for fresh agricultural produce, and the continued rise of e-commerce,” said Ashraf.
TCI CCS is focussed on providing temperature-controlled storage and transportation services in India. The company caters to major local and global companies across industries like fresh food supply, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and quick service restaurants.
TCI CCS offers primary distribution of products from plants to warehouses and secondary distribution from warehouses and distribution centres to retailers through a fleet of more than 130 reefer vehicles.
TCI has 12 million square feet of warehousing space and handling capacity of as much as 10,000 pallet positions across a temperature range of -25 to +25 degree Celsius in major cities across India.
Mitsui in 1999, with TCI, had founded Transystem Logistics International Pvt Ltd, a logistics company serving India’s automotive sector with ‘just in time delivery’ of automobile components and service parts.
The Japanese firm has a diversified portfolio of businesses in India. For instance, in August, it invested $4.1 million in Punjab Renewable Energy Systems Pvt Ltd (PRESPL). Two years ago, it acquired a 40% stake in Marvel Solren Pvt. Ltd, a unit of the Mahindra Group’s clean-technology arm Mahindra Susten Pvt. Ltd.
In 2017, Mitsui also invested $3 million in automotive tech firm Smart Auto Systems.
The Japanese company has investments in sectors like steel, power infrastructure, chemicals, logistics, motorcycles, bathroom products, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, fast moving consumer goods, and television shopping.