A joint venture involving Sembcorp Logistics of Singapore plans to set up an 18-city cold storage and transport network in India, according to company executives.
The venture plans to use snow carbon dioxide, a relatively new refrigerant used to store, package and transport perishable food, pharmaceutical and agricultural products, said H.R. Srinivasan, managing director of Sembawang Shriram Integrated Logistics Pvt. Ltd., a third-party logistics provider in Chennai.Sembcorp. is already using snow carbon dioxide to transport ice cream from Malaysia to Singapore, company sources said.
Sembcorp. wants to extend use of the technology to India, where lack of an efficient cold storage and transport network results in up to 30 percent losses in transportation of perishable products.
Koh Peng Hong, chief technology officer of Sembcorp., said snow carbon dioxide has several advantages over other cooling mediums such as block dry ice, coolant jelly and refrigerated containers.
Though the initial cost of using snow carbon dioxide technology is high, it costs less to use.
Consolidation of different food products for transportation at their own cooling temperatures is possible.
Snow carbon dioxide can be stored efficiently and used at different temperatures. Cooling is immediate and uniform, according to Sembcorp.
Perishable products are packed in special containers whose lids are injected with snow carbon dioxide. These containers can be transported in general purpose trucks that must carry a coolant injector.
Potential applications include door-to-door delivery of grocery products using electronic commerce.