New Delhi: Rail Cargo Services is an easy to use services than trucks in long distances because, trains cost less fuel and can take lots of loading material with more efficiently than trucks. Generally rail cargo service is 10% more efficient than road. In view of the above, Indian Railways has offered to lease out 8,000 parcel vans to logistics and transport companies like Gati, TCI and APL Logistics.
At a meeting with transport industry representatives, the railways has suggested private companies to run special trains using the vans as it would give them guaranteed traffic.
“We pick up cargo from stations and carry in parcel vans attached with passenger trains depending upon availability. By leasing out parcel vans we will get assured revenue,” said a senior railways ministry official.
The official said many private sector logistics companies had taken permission from the railways but very few of them are running special trains. At present, only two special parcel trains are being run.
The railways, which earns most of its revenues from freight movement, is expected to miss its annual loading target. It has seen a decline in loading of commodities like cement, grain and containers in the first nine months of the current financial year. While increase in freight loading in case of coal, iron ore and fertilisers has been witnessed during this period it is lower than expectations.
The public transporter carried 816.52 million tonnes of freight during April-December of the current financial years against a target of about 1,180 million tonnes for the full year.
“In the January-March period, we generally see an increase in loading. We are hoping to do better than last year but may not reach the revised target. We will be closing the year with lower number as lower loading of commodities like iron ore and coal has hit us,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the railways has started meeting industry representatives seeking their suggestions ahead of the rail budget. After private container operators, automobile, fertiliser and logistics firms, it is expected to interact with cement, coal and other key industries.