Railway Ministry partially rolls back Hike in Box Rail Operators charges

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Box train operators are likely to get some respite with the Railway Ministry deciding to implement the hike in haulage charges in two phases.

The Ministry of Railways, Government of India, has decided to roll back the recent increase in haulage charges partially for container services, offering some relief to the users.  The hike will be slashed by 33% till February-end next year, and from March 1, the entire hike is likely to be implemented.

Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) has taken a decision to reduce the charges for a period of 75 days.  CONCOR with a market share of 70 percent had earlier passed on the hike to its customers.

Sources said that the Ministry’s move comes in the backdrop of container train operators seeking relief from the sharp hike.

Haulage charges are paid by Container train operators to the Indian Railways for using their track infrastructure and locomotives, and account for over half of their operating cost.

The Ministry had hiked haulage charges by 25-41%, with effect from December 5.

Additionally, there was a 10% hike for containers moving from ports, which account for 55% of container traffic, given the country’s high imports.

Companies that stand to partially benefit from the move to implement the hike in phases are Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), Gateway Distriparks Limited, APL India Linx, Hind Terminals, Inlogistics, DPW-backed Container Rail Road Services and Vikram Logistics and Maritime Services.

The Railways has increased fares for rail containerised cargo by a bigger margin than for other categories, the Association of Container Train Operators (ACTO) had said.

The operators said they would have lost a large share of container traffic to road transporters if the partial roll-back had not taken place.

For the April-October period, containerised traffic on the Railways saw a 16 per cent growth against the same period last fiscal, with container train operators moving about 28 million tonne of cargo.