RIL Eyes CWC Storehouses

Reliance IndustriesReliance Industries (RIL) has started out bending its power to smarten up its retail back-end. The company is in talks with the government-owned Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) for all its non-operated and the partly functioned warehousing capacity stretched within 15 cities.

A source said the company has already signed up a contract to lease 2 million sq ft on commercial terms from CWC. The agreement for the other 2 million sq ft is expected to be closed in the next few months.

According to senior CWC official, “The move is aimed at optimizing all unutilized capacities of the corporation.” It will be like a win-win situation for CWC as well as RIL. On the one hand, it will help CWC leverage its unutilized capacities, on the other RIL; it will save time and avoid procedural hurdles involved in developing warehouses.”

Presently, CWC functions 514 warehouses in the country with a total storage space of 10.27 million tonnes, offering storage services for a broad variety of products. Warehousing capacity will give Reliance Retail an early-mover advantage.

After having the CWC’s entire unutilized warehousing space, RIL’s rivals, especially those planning operations in the wholesale business such as Wal-Mart, KB’s Wholesale and Metro, will suffer a disadvantage.

RIL already has a series of 140 stores in food & grocery and consumer durable formats in 13 cities. It also plans to instigate its first hypermarket in Ahemdabad within the next four months.

CWC’s warehousing activities comprise foodgrain warehouses, industrial warehousing, custom-bonded warehouses, container freight stations, inland clearance depots and aircargo complexes.

Despite storage and handling, CWC also provides services in the area of clearing and forwarding, handling and transportation, procurement and distribution, disinfestation services, fumigation services and other ancillary activities.

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