Rlys introduces 5% discount for container train movement

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 05, 2020

The move does not satiate the private container train operators, who had been wanting to waive off of entire haulage charges on movement of empty containers   -  THEHINDU

Container train operators want more

To attract more containers to the rail mode, the Indian Railways has notified a discount of five per cent in the freight rates it charges to the container train operators, which will be valid for the remaining part of the fiscal. These discounts, which set in from August 4 this year, will be valid till April 30 next year.

This is another step in a series of measures that the Indian Railways has taken to get more freight onto its fold, at a time when India is facing lower demand during Covid-19 pandemic. This also fits into India’s overall scheme to lower the logistics costs.

The move, however, does not satiate the private container train operators (CTOs), who had been wanting to waive off of entire haulage charges on movement of empty containers. The Association of Container Train Operators (ACTO) had sought continuation of waiving off-of haulage charges for moving empty boxes. While welcoming the move, a container train operator, told BusinessLine, “Most of the private container train operators are burning cash. This move will lower the extent of cash burn. But there is an export-import imbalance. For every 90 boxes (sized twenty feet equivalent unit) of exports, there are 30 boxes for imports.”

Recently, the Indian Railways had said that it would consider introducing more measures to attract goods onto its fold. These steps are being taken in the pandemic year when the Railways is increasingly having to bank on freight movement for its revenues.

The Indian Railways, which had not been able to load extra cargo since the last week of March when the Covid-19 triggered lockdown set in, has seen a trend reversal since last few days. Extra goods against the same day last fiscal was loaded on July 27. On a day-to-day basis, there have been several other days following July 27, when the national transporter loaded more cargo than the previous fiscal.

It has introduced newer incentives like allowing 40 per cent discount in movement of cement bags in open and flat wagons, provided customers agree to bear the full risk of damage or pilferage of the consignment. The discounts will come into effect from August 8.

Published on August 05, 2020

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