AP Moller Maersk Group’s unit APM Inland Services has announced plans for starting an Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Pune for handling its chemicals. The group has received approval from the Environment Ministry of Government of India. A blanket approval has been granted for storing 35,000 tons of chemicals at the ICD except radioactive chemicals and explosives. Located at a distance of 150 Km from Mumbai, the facility will be able to handle 60,000 containers a year.
APM Inland’s CEO Ajit Venkataraman believes the project is crucial for business as the company is looking to provide end-to-end services. The company’s freight forwarder unit Damco along with Hinterland station will enable APM to provide end-to-end services. Inland Container Depots is a facility where hinterland customers can avail services more conveniently near their premises. Customers look to avoid multiple players and want a one stop entity to take full responsibility. The combined prowess of APMT, Maersk line, and Damco will be able to provide full logistical and transport solution to customers.
As following safety and security standards is important for chemical industries, compliance will be easier in inland container depots. Mr. Venkataraman believes the long game will be played in hinterlands as it will offer better connectivity and will give access to interior regions of the country. The firm already has two ICD’s and five CFS’s.
India’s chemical industry is currently valued at $200 billion which accounts for only 3% of global market. The industry is going to grow to $400 billion by 2025. India with a domestic growth of 4% in chemicals is a net importer of chemicals. The facility will be crucial role in realizing India’s growth potential in the chemical industry.
As both Indian and global chemical industry is undergoing radical transformation, the traditional box-in and box-out model ICD is shifting to a model with more value addition. India is currently home to 46 ICD’s 28 of them are rail ICDs while 6 of them road ICDs. APM Terminal and Inland Services has also recently received Authorized Economic Operator certification granted by World Customs Organization and acknowledged the company as ‘secure’ and ‘reliable’ trade partner in global supply chain.