Giving a major boost to container movement to ports, the Indian Railways on Friday announced its decision to provide 25 per cent discount on transport of empty containers as well empty flat container wagons.
The initiative of giving discount in haulage of empty containers and flat wagons is expected to increase more loading in both EXIM trade and domestic segments of container traffic. A railway official said this would boost the finances of 18 private container train operators (CTO) and state-run Container Corporation (Concor), that are operating in the segment.
The Indian Railways handles around 47.35 million tonne of container traffic on an annual basis, bringing in a revenue of Rs 47.16 billion. Meanwhile, earnings from empty twenty feet equivalent units (TEU) and wagons comes to around Rs 6.25 billion.
"The Railways get more traffic by reducing rate. It will help rail users to load their commodity at economical rate which will result low price in the market giving benefit to common man," the official said. The move is also expected to result in less detention time and enhance efficient handling of traffic at ports and attract larger share of container traffic to rail.
The decision may also help the Railways in expanding its freight basket. "The objective is to capture traffic of new commodities, which, hitherto, have been moving from road or other modes of transport. Container transportation is one such high priority segment that IR has focused on in its bid for expansion of freight basket," the Railways said in a statement.
Containerisation of goods offers an excellent transportation solution which is efficient and cost effective for the economy as well as helps the Railways in attracting non-conventional or non-bulk traffic, it said.
This comes three months after the Container Corporation of India's announced an aggressive marketing offer that gives 45-day free storage to its customers. The market leader's target is to double its turnover from Rs 61.67 billion in 2017-18 to Rs 120 billion by 2021.