Indian Railways has decided to reduce haulage charges for some categories of container traffic from April 1, to spur growth in freight movement.
The rate has been reduced by five per cent in the category of 10-20 tonnes of loaded containers. The charges for empty and flat containers in the 20-tonne slab have been decreased by 13 per cent. Also, a 25 per cent concession in the rate for containerised fruits and vegetables sponsored by the agriculture ministry or the National Horticulture Board.
The decision comes at a time when the growth in container traffic has been stunted in both the domestic and international market. It followed a series of meetings with container train operators, who were not happy with the earlier rise in rates.
Haulage rates in the case of loaded containers in other weight slabs, viz up to 10 tonnes, 20-26t and more than 26 tonnes are not impacted either way by the proposed rationalisation.
According to a senior IR official, “In the prevailing context of slow economic growth, domestically as well as globally, it is expected that the reduction would help Container Train Operators (CTOs) in augmenting their competitive edge. The consequent increase in traffic volumes would be to the mutual benefit of CTOs and IR.”