Box mover Arshiya Rail seeks lower freight for steel items

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 22, 2015

Container train operator Arshiya Rail has written to the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, seeking freight rate relaxation for moving finished steel products on rakes.

The Indian Railways does not permit container train operators to carry some heavy, bulk cargo as it considers such traffic its own turf, which it has managed to protect by increasing the haulage rates sharply for such commodities.

The letter comes ahead of a meeting that container train operators are slated to have with the Railways.

What Arshiya Rail is basically seeking is that container trains carrying steel products be allowed to bring empty rakes back to the steel plants free of Railway haulage charges.

Arshiya is undergoing debt restructuring and part of its debt was recently sold by its lenders to Edelweiss asset restructuring company.

Incidentally, the policy circular — rate circular 5 of 2011 — for which Arshiya is seeking relaxation was earlier taken up by the Association of Container Train Operators with the Railway Board. However, there has not been any favourable action yet.

After this circular, many container train operators said they were forced to change their mix of domestic and foreign traffic to retain margins.

At present, Arshiya’s container trains operate primarily in the East-South sector. It does not operate in the North-west export import sector, which offers relatively better margins. Industry sources say it is this traffic mix that is making it difficult for Arshiya to improve margins.

Published on May 22, 2015
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