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Sri City aims to become an export-import powerhouse with FTWZ-based dry port

From industrial hub to trade crossroads: Siddhartha Logistics can pave the way for Sri City's dry port ambition

Sri City aims to become an export-import powerhouse with FTWZ-based dry port

Sri City aims to become an export-import powerhouse with FTWZ-based dry port

Sri City, strategically situated at the Chennai-Tirupati-Nellore tri-city junction, is a thriving industrial hub, ranked among the top ten manufacturing regions in India. With more than 210 companies from 28 different countries, the collective international cargo traffic through Sri City reaches approximately 120,000 containers annually. Its robust ecosystem, particularly in the automotive and electronics sectors, has lured companies like Apollo Tyres and Hero Motors to establish their plants nearby.

Despite its excellent connectivity to key ports, including Chennai, Ennore, Kattupalli, and Krishnapatnam, Sri City faces challenges in transporting cargo between these ports, leading to detours and increased expenses through container freight stations.

The escalating cargo volumes have sparked interest in establishing an Inland Container Depot (ICD) or Dry Port within Sri City, serving as a comprehensive logistics centre, mimicking seaport facilities, facilitating efficient cargo handling, and reducing transit times. While Sri City would be well-suited to function as an ICD, the current Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) regulations prevent it from obtaining ICD authorisation, as it falls within the 200 km proximity limit to gateway ports. Despite this restriction, Siddhartha Logistics Pvt Ltd, nestled away in Sri City's FTWZ, is an appropriate choice since it is permitted to operate as a dry port inside the FTWZ since it has been recognised as a port under the Customs Act.

Siddhartha Logistics ICD-like Dry port in Sri City

Siddhartha Logistics FTWZ unit, a leading logistics firm in the country, which specialises in cutting-edge logistical services such as contractual logistics, freight forwarding, shipping, project logistics, transportation, and distribution, operates within Sri City’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and caters to the cargo needs of both domestic and international clients. The combination of the Free Trade Warehousing Zone (FTWZ) and the Inland Container Depot/Dry Port creates an efficient import and export hub, promoting trade and commerce in the region. This infrastructure streamlines logistics, contributing to the region's industrial growth.

Siddaratha Logistics, equipped with a modern logistics centre, container yard, warehouse facilities, and skilled staff, serves over 150 companies, handling 7,500 containers and 5,000 air shipments annually. This results in significant cost and time savings for Sri City businesses.

Additionally, it operates as an 'air freight station,' conducting two daily truck movements between Chennai Airport and Sri City, further enhancing efficiency and cost benefits for air freight. Specialised services, such as warehousing, packaging, labelling, and documentation services, can be tailored to the specific needs of the mega multi-product manufacturing hub and can streamline export processes.

According to Nishchal Padhya, the Managing Director of Siddhartha Logistics, a stronger commitment from the industry could pave the way for the creation of a sustainable cargo hub resembling an ICD. Such a hub has the potential to substantially decrease international cargo transportation expenses and position Siddhartha Logistics as an attractive option for shipping companies dealing with empty container inventory management.

He emphasises the availability of centralised facilities for storage, handling, and transportation, stressing the potential for smoother and enhanced logistics operations that could yield significant cost reductions for businesses in Sri City, especially in terms of ferrying empty containers between Sri City and gateway ports.

Dr Ravindra Sannareddy, Founder Managing Director, Sri City, emphasised the importance of optimising logistics operations and reducing unnecessary cargo movements for environmental sustainability. Citing Siddhartha Logistics FTWZ's significant contribution of Rs 16,000 crore in customs duties in the fiscal year 2020-2021, he proposed that channelling all import and export operations of companies in the Sri City region through Siddhartha Logistics FTWZ could result in increased government revenues, consolidating Sri City's position as a key player alongside gateway ports. He further mentioned that this move would bolster the city's industrial ecosystem and garner additional acknowledgment from the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

Through its capacity to draw in enterprises, provide job opportunities, and boost economic growth, the ICD-like Dry Port facility in Sri City has the potential to significantly contribute to regional development. This facility promotes trade and industrial development in the neighbourhood by acting as a logistical centre that links interior regions with seaports. Undoubtedly, the region's development would be fuelled by its unleashing.

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