Chennai: APL Logistics, a unit of the Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines, has extended its famous double-stack container train service — that help customers load double the volume of cargo in a single voyage — to India.
APL (American Presidential Lines) pioneered the concept in early 1984 in US domestic rail operations.
APL IndiaLinx, the rail operations arm of APL Logistics in India, recently stacked 90 forty-foot boxes two-high on a train from Mundra port for an inland container rail terminal at Kishangarh, near Delhi, according to a company official from Singapore.
The double-stacked train operation followed the Indian Railways’ recent decision to allow stacked train access along this rail corridor. This was part of the Railways’ bigger project to provide a freight-dedicated network of railroads with double-stack train access connecting key gateway ports and major North Indian industrial centres before end 2016.
APL IndiaLinx plans to expand its stacked train service network as more rail corridors are allowed double-stack access, the official said without giving a deadline. In 2006 the company was granted the rail operating licence. It owns and operates 18 weekly rail services between inland container rail terminals in northern India and the gateway ports on India’s west coast.
India Infrastructure and Logistics Private Ltd was set up in 2006 as a joint-venture between APL and Hindustan Infrastructure Projects & Engineering Private Ltd to provide rail-based container transportation and related logistics in India. Its service is marketed under the brand APL IndiaLinx.
When a customer has a huge volume of freight to move between two points, using trains offer traffic and environmental benefits over trucks. With double-stack trains, these benefits are even greater.
With the container boxes stacked two-high, a double-stack train can potentially double the capacity in a train run. This effectively allows the company to move boxes out of the port area at a faster velocity in each train run, thereby easing congestion.
In fact, it also frees up the highways for trucks to move cargoes into other locations not served by rail or that do not have sufficient capacity or distance to justify rail movement. The use of double-stack trains also allow to make fewer train trips. This means reduction in fuel and emission, said the official.
In the US, double-stack trains run regularly over an intricate rail network providing time-predictable and efficient connectivity between the coastal terminals, manufacturing and consumption centres inland, the official said.