India, which ranks 14 on the list of global exporters of agricultural products, fishery and forestry items, suffers around $14-billion loss annually due to the lack of effective cold chain management system. But now freight solution company Shipwaves claims to address the challenge faced by exporters with its specially-designed containers. Shipwaves has set up a 20-seater office in Nashik to assist the local exporters in maintaining the cold chain shipment from land to ocean and to the final destination. With the help of its chip-enabled containers fitted with refrigerator, the company can track and monitor the temperature inside the containers while the goods are in transit from Nashik to the Mumbai port and beyond when the cargo is on the high seas, said Athahar Mohammed, co founder, Shipwaves. According to him, the key challenges in agri exports are the lack of cold chain warehousing, awareness and handling of temperature sensitive products. “Major agri products requiring temperature controlled shipping include onions, tomatoes, potatoes, banana, grapes, pomegranate, water melon and papaya.”
Temperature management cost for each of these products varies, and if not maintained properly, it may result in loss of weight if the temperature is too high. The company offers real-time tracking of the cargo movement, helping the exporters and consignees be updated on scheduled delivery. “We are working with over 100 business houses that export fruits out of Nashik. Over 5,000 tonne refrigerated cargo has been shipped by Shipwaves in the last few months,” he said. Shipwaves works with all major international shipping lines including Maersk, Cosco, CMCCGM, MSC, and has ramped up its presence in Mumbai, Mundra, Nagpur, Nashik, Mangalore, Chennai and Vishakapatnam. The company is now extending this service to other agri hubs including Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat.
“Most hinterland agri hubs lack internet connectivity. The company has solved this problem. Agri exporters can now check freight pricing on their smartphones with the help of Shipwaves App, available both for Android and iOS phones.” Not only does the app provide instant and transparent pricing, it allows complete documentation of pre-shipment and post–shipment procedures, including payments and invoice history, he said. According to Apeda, India exported fruits and vegetables worth $ 670 million in 2016-17 to UAE, Netherlands, Malaysia, UK, Saudi Arabia and other countries.