As part of its diversification activities, Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) developed a warehousing facility of railway land along a railway siding as a pilot project at Whitefield Goods Terminal at Bangalore after entering into an agreement with Indian Railways.
The project started in February 2002 and resulted in attracting additional traffic to the Railways, improvement in customer service and an increase in the volume of cargo handled by CWC. Its managing director Vinod Asthana spoke to HT. Excerpts:
CRWC is a new company. How has been its journey so far?
CRWC, a public sector undertaking, under the ministry of consumer affairs, department of food and public distribution, was incorporated in 2007. In the last five years, it has grown steadily with a compounded annual growth rate of over 20%, established warehouse capacity of over 3 lakh metric tonnes and handled over 8 million tonnes of cargo in 2011-12.
What are its activities and objectives?
The company develops, designs, constructs and operates rail side warehouses for handling full train loads of food grains, fertilisers and cement among other things. These warehouses have been developed along with related facilities for round-the-clock operation. This avoids multiple handling of goods and provides storage facilities for a few days at the rail head. We are operating 18 such terminals across the country.
What are its present business expansion plans?
More railside warehouse complexes are being set up. The physical work on the Mumbai (Jogeshwari) RWC will be taken up hand shortly. The plans for setting up RWCs at Cochin, Guwahati (Changsari), Malda, and Gandhidham (Gujarat) are under finalisation in consultation with the Railways. With the development of these facilities, the freight potential at these terminals will increase.
Being a logistics company, is CRWC planning diversification?
Two definite areas have been identified for diversification. Logistics park is one business segment which CRWC is developing by investing in logistics infrastructure. Development of multi-chamber cold storages to support cold chain operation is another area identified for diversification. Business plans are being put in place for developing these revenue streams.
How do you ensure quality of service at your RWCs?
Terminals are being operated round the clock, with trained manpower. Most of them are ISO certified and have proper procedures in place. Customer satisfaction surveys are also undertaken besides regular users meetings.
What are your efforts in the areas of sustainable development?
To make terminals energy efficient, solar power panels are being provided for general lighting and rain water harvesting process has been arranged in deficient areas.