New Delhi: Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu’s proposal to set up Transport Logistics Corporation of India (TRANSLOC) will be Indian Railways entry into the fast-growing logistics sector, as the struggling public sector firm tries to reinvent itself to keep pace with changing industry needs.
Prabhu said TRANSLOC will develop common user facilities with handling and value-added services to facilitate end-to-end logistics services at select terminals. The new services will be offered though PPP. The new public sector enterprise will come in direct competition with private players like Gateway Rail and Transport Corp of India (TCI).
Prabhu went on to say that in the initial period, Indian Railways will upgrade 10 existing goods sheds and develop 30 small multimodal logistic parks where it has surplus land. The ministry is also developing its air cargo sector to integrate the movement of air cargo between Inland Container Depots (ICDs) and the gateway airports.
Railways will also introduce bar coded tracking of parcels and freight wagons, automated parcel warehouses, customer relationship management system, in an attempt to upgrade its outdated facilities. “It shows that railways is transforming from an infrastructure company to a service company.
There is an intent to raise service standards,” said Arvind Mahajan, head of Infrastructure and Government services, KPMG in India. “Indian Railways lost out to private players in transportation of smaller parcel but high value goods, which it is trying to regain.”
Mahajan said Indian Railways can capture market share in transportation of consumer goods, white goods, pharmaceuticals and so on. There is hardly any competition in transportation of commodities like coal, iron ore, coke, where the ministry increased rates.
The new corporate structure will bring in economic and operational efficiency in Railways. However, this has triggered concern about conflict of interest among private players like Gateway Rail, who also operate private freight terminals and ICDs. TC’s joint MD Chander Agarwal is not too worried about the conflict of interest but surely foresees rise in competition in a space, which is already cash strapped.
New PSU will help Textile Industry a lot: Texpreneurs Forum
Textile industry here welcomed the announcement in the Railway Budget that a Transport Logistics Corporation of India (TRANSLOC) would be created in the public sector to expand freight handling capacity, and provide end-to-end logistics solution.
The announcement of the formation of Transport Logistics Corporation of India (Transloc), a new Public Sector Undertaking to provide end-to-end logistics solutions by Mr Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister, in the Rail Budget 2015-16 has been welcomed by the trade in Tamil Nadu.
“Formation of such a PSU to extend help from the point of sourcing of any material to the delivery point including the areas not transported by railway, and the plan to design wagons based on commodity are novel ideas that would prove to be highly beneficial for textile industry. TRANSLOC would help accelerate cargo movement of the Railways. Designing of wagons to suit commodities will attract more transportation of goods like cotton which is usually large in volume,” said D. Prabhu, secretary of Texpreneurs Forum.
Raja Shanmugam, Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (Tirupur district council), was of the opinion that steps to create dedicated freight corridors across the country, and the decision to open a round-the-clock helpline, were good.