Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry held a meeting with top courier service agencies to facilitate robust partnership with Railways Freight and Parcel service. During the meeting it was informed that Railways was set to offer reliable, fast, affordable and easy to handle parcel services for logistics/courier agencies.
Highlights of the meeting:
- The meeting was called to discuss and explore the possibilities of expanding the business of private parcel services through Indian Railways.
- In order to quickly work out the best guidelines and ease of doing business, Joint working group is going to be formed consisting of Railway officials and representatives of logistics/courier providers.
- Speaking on the occasion the Minister said that win win solutions needed to be there to ensure a sustainable business development for all.
- It may also be noted that total 5,292 Parcel trains run by Indian Railways from 22.03.2020 till 02.09.2020 out of which 5,139 have been time-tabled trains.
- Total 3,18,453 tonnes of consignments have been loaded in these trains and the earnings have been Rs. 116.19 crores.
- It is worth mentioning that Indian Railways Freight loading for the month of August 2020 with total 94.33 million tonnes of freight loading surpasses last years loading for the same month.
- Total 1,41,049 rakes with 451.38 million tonnes of freight loaded by Indian Railways from 25.03.2020 till 01.09.2020.
- A number of concessions/discounts are also being given in Indian Railways to make Railways Freight movement very attractive.
- Improvements in freight movements will be institutionalized and incorporated in the upcoming zero based time table.
Recent initiatives to boost Freight Operations:
Indian Railways has taken a number of initiatives to boost Freight Operations inspite of Covid-19 related challenges.
Indian Railways has taken a series of initiatives in Tariff and Non-Tariff field. Utilizing Covid period as an opportunity Indian Railways substantially increased the speed of Freight Trains. 72% increase in average speed of Freight Trains in the year 2020-21 as compared to last year. 94% increase took place in speed of Freight Trains in August 2020 compared to August 2019.
Following are the latest Tariff Rationalisation initiatives (measures) taken by Indian Railways to boost Freight Operations:
- 5% discount on loaded containers (addition to 25% on empty) for Containers from 03.08.2020.
- Discount for Pond ash/Moisturised ash – Open wagon – 40% for Power plants, Cement from 03.08.2020.
- Revision in classification of Industrial salt from 120 to 100 A for Chemical Industry from 03.08.2020.
- Stabling charges for private Container and Automobile trains waived off till 31st October 2020 for Containers and Automobile from 03.08.2020.
Following are some other Tariff Rationalisation initiatives (measures) taken by Indian Railways to boost Freight Operations:
- Withdrawal of Busy Season charge-15% for All sectors Except Coal, Iron ore and containers from 1.10.2019.
- Withdrawal of 5 % surcharge of two point/mini rakes for Cement, Iron and steel, Food grains, Fertilizers, Bulk BOG from 1.10.2019.
- Discount for Fly ash-Bagged in open wagon-40% for Power plants, Cement from 10.05.2020.
- Alternate terminal scheme-Rs 56,000 to Rs 80,000 per rake for All sector from 27.06.2020.
- Round trip Traffic (RTT) policy-charging of lower class for All sectors from 01.07.2020.
- Long lead concession-15 to 20% for Coal, Iron ore and Iron and steel from 01.07.2020.
- Short lead concession-10 to 50 % for All sector (except coal and iron ore ) from 01.07.2020.
Other Measures taken by Indian Railways to boost Freight Operations are as follows:
- Business Development Units (BDUs) set up – Divisions, Zones and Board level.
- Restrictions on co-use of private sidings removed – 1,079 private sidings allowed to become private freight terminals effectively.
- 405 Major Good sheds being improved-Concrete surface, bright LED lighting, better roads & labour facilities – To enable 3 shift operations.
- Time tabled parcel trains.
- Opening up of export traffic to Bangladesh for Parcels, Containers & Automobile.
- Kisan rail introduced from Devlali (Nashik) to Danapur (Patna) on 07.08.2020 Multiple stoppages, Multiple commodities, Multiple parties – Now extended to Muzaffarpur. Link train from Kolhapur to Manmad also added. Now Bi-weekly from 24.08.2020.
Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit: MoR