Railways’ aim of increasing modal share of freight to 40% not an impossible target: ExpertPage Visited: 4
Automobile loading growth too is witnessing steady growth with cumulative automobile loading surpassing last year’s loading by 39 percent
Dec 3, 2020 / 09:41 PM IST
Despite the coronavirus-led disruptions seriously denting its passenger operations, the freight segment of Railways has seen a steady growth and overall loading has been much more than last year.
In September, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had said the national transporter is looking at increasing its modal share in freight business to 40 percent from its current 25 percent.
In the month of November, Railways posted a growth of 9 percent year-on-year at 109.68 mt. In October, freight loading stood at 108 mt.
Railways earned Rs 10,657.66 crore from freight loading, 4 percent more compared to last year’s earnings for the same period.
Despite festival holidays and Cyclone Nivar affecting freight loading, the Railways was able to keep up the momentum.
So, can the Railways achieve its goal of taking its share to 40 percent?
“Railways is a more environmentally friendly mode of transport as compared to road. Increasing modal share of Railways is not a choice, it is a necessity for our country. To make this happen, a focused effort to shift cargo from road is required. A major part of DFC will be operational by June 2021 and this will be a major driver of the modal shift. Railways has used the crisis as an opportunity and come up with a zero-based timetable. The new time table will have scheduled paths for freight trains. This will increase reliability of transit times and will also help in attracting cargo from road to rail.
“The recent initiative of setting up BDUs in zones will lead to faster resolution of issues of freight customers. There is also emphasis of setting up multi-modal logistics parks and improving goods shed with private sector involvement. All these initiatives, if implemented well, can certainly take up the modal share of Railways,” Rajaji Meshram, Partner, EY India, told Moneycontrol.
Automobile loading growth too is witnessing steady growth with cumulative automobile loading surpassing last year’s loading by 39 percent.
The national transporter has set a target of achieving 50 percent more freight loading in the current fiscal as compared to 2019-20 and concessions are being given to make its freight services more attractive.
The Railways is also reportedly looking to double its loading capacity in the next four years.