DARCL Logistics to buy 100 rail boxes from China

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To sharpen focus on rail container business.

Significant potential:15% growth seen in rail container cargo movement.
Significant potential:15% growth seen in rail container cargo movement.

Amit Mitra

Hyderabad, June 11

Transport and logistics service provider DARCL Logistics is in the process of acquiring new containers as part of its initiatives to sharpen focus on the rail container business.

It is looking at buying about 100 containers, mostly from China, this fiscal. “Each of the containers will cost us about Rs 2.5 lakh. We see significant potential in this sector, anticipating a growth of 15 per cent in rail container cargo movement,” Mr T. S. Narasimhan, the company's Executive Director, told Business Line.

Currently, it operates two trains, doing about seven trips a month on the Mumbai-Kolkata route, being one of the 14 companies that got licence from the Indian Railways to operate container trains.

Rs 70-cr programme

“We estimate the movement of containerised cargo in India at nine million tonnes, up from 7.2 million tonnes three years ago,” he pointed out.

DARCL, in which IDFC owns a 31 per cent stake, has also lined up a capital expenditure programme of about Rs 70 crore this fiscal for projects in the logistics sector.

It plans to buy about 150 vehicles of different categories to add to its existing fleet of 300-odd vehicles.

“We plan to get into full-fledged 3 PL (Third Party Logistics) in the future. At the moment, we are focusing more on contract logistics,” Mr Narasimhansaid.

The company provides logistics services to a clutch of companies, including ONGC, Reliance Industries, Castrol and Godrej, having presence at all the major ports. With a network of 190 offices across the country, including warehousing facilities, it has developed expertise in movement of over-dimensional consignments, some weighing 300 tonnes or being 100 feet long.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 12, 2010)
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