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First Oxygen Express train to arrive in Bengaluru

The Indian Railways said that the first ‘Oxygen Express’ to Karnataka is carrying six cryogenic containers–a total of 120 tonnes of life-saving gas. Another Oxygen Express carrying around 225 MT of oxygen from Gujarat’s Hapa offloaded in Delhi Cantt on Monday. Karnataka receives its first ‘Oxygen Express’ on Tuesday, May 11. The Oxygen Express has left from Jamshedpur on Monday and is expected to reach Inland Container Depot, Container Corporation of India, Whitefield on Tuesday. Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal also tweeted about this, “Railways fight against Covid-19 is in full swing, as #OxygenExpress with 11 tankers carrying life-saving oxygen via Green Corridor from Hapa, Gujarat, is offloaded in Delhi”. The Indian Railways has so far delivered nearly 4,200 metric tonnes (MT) of liquid medical oxygen in 268 tankers across the country. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Railways, as many as 68 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far. “Till now, 293 MT has been offloaded in Maharashtra, 1230 MT in Uttar Pradesh, 271 MT in Madhya Pradesh, 555 MT in Haryana, 123 MT in Telangana, 40 MT in Rajasthan, and 1,679 MT in Delhi,” the Ministry said. Yesterday, Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur received its first Oxygen Express, carrying 80 MT of life-saving gas.

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IOC converts LNG tankers to carry medical oxygen nationwide

IOC is converting 14 LNG tankers of 17 tonnes each into medical grade oxygen carriers to strengthen the medical oxygen logistics in the country. In a statement, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) said it had previously diverted high-purity oxygen used in its Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG) unit to produce medical-grade liquid oxygen at its Panipat refinery and petrochemical complex. In the face of a massive surge in demand for medical oxygen, the ”throughput of the unit has also been scaled down to serve the more critical cause. Presently, it is supplying 270 tonnes of LMO per day to the hospitals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab,” it said. “By mid-May, over 20 road tankers and 25 ISO containers of about 820 tonnes combined capacity will be pressed into action by IOC,” the statement said, adding the firm will be manufacturing ten cryogenic road tankers at its Cryogenic Plant at Nasik over the next six months.

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JNPT and New Mangalore Port handles 120 MT of Oxygen on priority

India’s largest Container Port, Jawahrlal Nehru Port Trust handled four medical-grade oxygen filled cryogenic containers with total quantity of 80 MT. Each cryogenic container carried 20 MT of Liquid Medical grade Oxygen. These medical grade oxygen containers were loaded in Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates and reached India. Indian Navy’s INS Kolkata reached New Mangalore Port today carrying 40 MT of oxygen from Kuwait. The cargo also comprised of 5 tons of oxygen cylinders and 4 high flow oxygen concentrators. It may be noted that Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has directed all Major Ports of India, including the Kamarajar Port Limited, to waive-off all charges levied by Major Port Trusts (including vessel related charges, storage charges etc.) and accord highest priority in the berthing sequence to the vessels carrying oxygen related consignments.

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Cold chain logistics to grow by over 20% CAGR by 2025

The national cold chain sector is expected to grow at over 20% CAGR by 2025, according to JLL, due to its transformation from conventional cold storage to modern storage space. The estimates are based on the sector’s performance over the past few months, where despite the post-Covid economic impediments, the organised cold chain segment has seen significant growth in country-wide footprint. According to JLL, there is an opportunity for organised cold storage / palettized cold storage in Tier-I cities like Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bangalore Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad as well as Tier-II cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Ranchi. Patna, Bhubaneswar, Goa, Aurangabad, Ahmedabad, Kochi, and Coimbatore. An additional 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh pallet capacity (frozen and chilled) may be added as part of temperature-controlled storage space in the next two to three years. “Automation in the logistics sector will only become more pronounced in the coming years and we see innovation in the multimodal and cold supply chain as catalysts for new segments of demand. Both from the equity and lending community, the appetite for the yield in the industrial sector is likely to further drive the investor demand for cold chain facilities,” said Yogesh Shevade, Head – Industrial Services, JLL, India. “The rationale behind the expansion is primarily driven by capturing higher market share by organised cold chain operators, changing consumer behavior for quality products, and securing supply reliability in a pandemic like situation,” he added.

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Air bridge between Dubai, nine Indian cities to transport essentials

India has been battling a severe second wave of the covid pandemic and hospitals in several states are running short of health workers, vaccines, oxygen, drugs and beds. Emirates has set up a humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India to transport urgent medical and relief items, to support India in its fight to control the serious COVID-19 situation in the country. The first shipment carrying over 12 tons of tents will head to Delhi on Thursday, 13 May. The first shipment sent as part of the Emirates India humanitarian airbridge is a consignment of over 12 tons of multi-purpose tents from the World Health Organization (WHO), destined for Delhi, and coordinated by the IHC in Dubai. The creation of the humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India, facilitated by Emirates SkyCargo, Dubai’s International Humanitarian City and UN agencies, to transport urgent medical and relief items. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “India and Emirates are deeply connected, since our first flights to India in 1985. We stand with the Indian people and will do all we can to help India get back on its feet. Emirates has a lot of experience in humanitarian relief efforts, and with 95 weekly flights to 9 destinations in India, we will be offering regular and reliable widebody capacity for relief materials.”

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Oxygen curbs hit container availability

Exports affected as ‘thousands of damaged containers unusable’; gas key to welding process in repairs. The curbs placed on industrial use of oxygen by the Centre to augment availability of medical grade oxygen for hospitals to save lives of critically ill COVID-19 patients, is impacting exporters by exacerbating a shortage of containers. Thousands of damaged containers, which arrived with import consignments on shipping lines, have not been repaired due to lack of oxygen and are hence not available for exporters, said industry executives. “Since mid-January, the situation in container movement was easing, following government intervention. But the second wave of the pandemic and shortage of industrial oxygen supply has aggravated the issue of container shortage,” said Sanjay Bhatia, co-founder & CEO, Freightwalla, a digital freight-forwarding company. “Oxygen is essential for repairs and welding of damaged containers; due to the prohibition it cannot be availed of. It has now become a big issue. There are thousands of empty containers lying unrepaired. This has further added to the crisis for exporters,” he said, adding the problem started from the third week of April.

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Government exempts toll fee on tankers carrying liquid medical oxygen

The NHAI announced exempting tankers and containers carrying liquid medical oxygen from user fee at toll plazas across national highways. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) today announced exempting tankers and containers carrying liquid medical oxygen (LMO) from user fee at toll plazas across national highways. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in a statement issued today has said that in order to provide uninterrupted passage for tankers and containers carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) across National Highways, the user fee for such vehicles at toll plazas has been exempted as the country is battling a surge in covid-19 cases in the country. These containers carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen will be treated at par with other emergency vehicles such as ambulances for a period of two months or till further orders. “Although the toll plazas have nearly zero waiting time after implementation of FASTag, National Highways Authority of India is already providing priority passage to such vehicles for quick and seamless transportation of medical oxygen. Instructions have also been issued by NHAI to all its officials and other stakeholders to assist the government and private efforts to fight the pandemic in helping them in pro-active manner,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.

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Adani Group procures 48 oxygen carrying tanks

Adani Group has secured medical oxygen and transportable cryogenic containers as well as augment health infrastructure. The Adani Group has already procured 48 cryogenic tanks capable of carrying 780 tonnes of liquid oxygen across the nation, a group spokesperson said. The Adani Group is ramping up its efforts in India’s battle against the pandemic. “As soon as the second COVID wave hit India, the Adani Group began leveraging its overseas connections to procure hard-to-find supplies of critical essentials like medical oxygen and transportable cryogenic containers,” the spokesperson said. It procured 48 cryogenic tanks from leading manufacturers in countries like Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and UAE. While some of these large cryogenic tanks were shipped in through the group’s Mundra Port in Gujarat, others were airlifted into the country with the help of the Indian Air Force, which deployed its biggest transport aircraft for these time-critical operations. These cryogenic tanks are a vital addition to the hardware India sorely needed to manage the medical oxygen requirements of patients across the country.

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Cargo Talk focuses on Supply Chain complexities

CargoTalk is organizing its fifth conclave on May 18, 2021. With eminent speakers from the trade, the focus will be on supply chain complexities in a never normal world. The summit will discuss the congestion issue the industry is currently facing and using real-time visibility to combat the port congestion disruptions. As this port congestion continues to cause downstream effects throughout the supply chain, industry is looking for insight into how delays will impact their shipments so they can remain agile and adjust plans as needed. Speakers will include Samit Datta, Head, Global Supply Chain, IT, Digital Transformation & Operational Excellence, Piramal Glass and Huseni Vohra, Director – Business Development, APAC, project44.

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Uninterrupted Delivery of Medical Essentials Continues from Goa Airport

Airports Authority of India, Goa International Airport and its frontline corona warriors have been playing an active role to combat covid-19 by facilitating the seamless delivery of medical essentials. Goa International Airport has further strengthened its mission to tackle the unprecedented situation created by coviid-19 by seamless supply of medical essentials i.e., Covid vaccines, Fabiflu medicines, covid-19 testing kits and other essentials. Goa Airport has facilitated the movement of Covid Vaccine to the state of Goa in the second phase of pandemic as part of Inbound Cargo and ensured the expeditious exit of consignments and handing over to the Health Authorities in shortest time possible. 1. 13 Boxes of Covid vaccine (COVISHIELD) received from Chennai on 18.04.2021. 2. 9 Boxes of Covid vaccine (COVISHIELD) received from Mumbai on 30.04.2021. 3. 122 Kg of Covid-19 Testing kits received from Delhi on 23.04.2021. In addition to inbound Cargo, Goa Airport has also played a crucial role in facilitating the supply of Glenmark’s Fabiflu medicines as part of Outbound Cargo to different parts of the country i.e., Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Indore, Nagpur etc. A total of 31,955 Kg of Fabiflu medicines flew from Goa Airport as part of outbound Cargo in the month of April, 2021. Fabiflu is used for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid infected people. Goa despite being smallest state is playing a significant role by being at the forefront in the fight against Covid-19 and Goa International Airport is working as gateway on 24×7 basis.

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