Indian Railways sees rise in freight earnings and traffic

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: It is reported that frequent revisions in freight rates and a moderate revival in bulk commodities transport have caused a 12.1% increase in the Railways’ earnings through freight, to INR 77,161 crore in the first 3 quarters of the current fiscal.

The Railways recorded 10% growth during the same period of last year. This year’s rise has come despite there being only a 5% increase in freight volumes.

Freight earnings had a 65% share in the Railways total earnings of INR 144,167 crore in FY14.

The share of freight in total earnings rose to 67% in April-December 2014, as economic activity started to pick up. The Rail Budget, presented in June last year, had budgeted 64% for the full year.

Mr Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister of India, said that “2/3 of our revenue comes from freight. So we are focusing on the dedicated freight corridors.”

The national transporter’s freight traffic has grown by a little over 4% annually in recent years, to 1,051 million tonne in FY14. The increase in the current fiscal so far has been 5%, to 808 million tonne.

Freight rates were raised by 5.8% in April 2013, 1.7% in October 2013 and 6.5% in June 2014. A congestion surcharge of 10% is also being levied on all goods traffic, including containers originating from ports, since November 2014.

Chinese Railway faces sharp fall in Freight Deliveries in Q4

While Indian Railways sees rise in freight traffic and revenues, Chinese Railway encountered a sharp fall in their Freight deliveries in Q4.  New stats show railway freight deliveries in China posted a sharp decline through the 4th quarter which dipped by 8-percent in the last 3 months.

This is down from the 2.5% drop seen in Q3. Rail freight deliveries through the whole of 2014 are down 4%.

A downturn in demand for raw materials such as coal and iron ore is being pointed to as the reason for the decline in deliveries.

Railway freight, along with power usage and bank loans, is the key pillars of Likenomics, which is the measurement of economic performance expounded by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.