Category Archives: Rail/Road

DP World to start intermodal rail service from June

DP World will be providing an intermodal rail service for containerised car shipments from June between Mexico, the US and Canada. The port terminal and inland logistics provider is using 16-metre (53ft) containers with R-Rak cassette systems in answer to the ro-ro and multilevel rail-capacity shortage for vehicle shipments in North America, said official reports. The 16-metre containers, which are common for general freight shipments in North America, can accommodate up to six passenger vehicles on special racking systems, compared to the four maximum that can be shipped in a standard 12.2m (40ft) container, which DP World said enhances efficiency and reduces costs for OEM customers. Four larger SUV-sized cars can be shipped in the containers. DP World said in a statement that it is the only logistics company currently providing the intermodal 53ft container solution for finished vehicles.

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Rail freight grows 1.4% in April; coal cargo declines by nearly 8%

Indian Railways in April recorded 1.45 per cent growth rate in its freight volumes, dragged down by weak numbers in coal transportation. It transported 128.29 million tonnes (mt) of goods, witnessing a fall of nearly 6 mt in its coal traffic, according to reports. “Freight revenue of Rs 14,075.14 crore was achieved in April 2024 against Rs 13,893.27 crore in April 2023, thereby showing an improvement of about 1.30 per cent over the last year,” the official said. While the railways increased its cargo in other segments, its coal traffic fell nearly 9 per cent in April to 57.64 mt year-on-year. The volumes were also slightly lower than in 2022, when the railways had to cancel more than 1,000 train trips to meet increasing coal demand, indicating supply-chain readjustment on account of changing weather patterns. Coal is the mainstay of railways’ freight earnings and accounts for 50 per cent of the transporter’s cargo volumes and revenue. A cooler start to the summer has been held to be the reason for coal volumes being subdued in April. The northern and western parts of India, which are the core demand drivers for thermal coal, witnessed cooler than expected temperatures. Northern and western states form the largest chunk of India’s power demand. The eastern part of the country has been sweltering and also pushing power demand but it remains lower than the two other big regions, adds reports.

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Indian Railways plans to set up 200 Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals

The Indian Railways plans to set up an additional 200 Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals (GCTs) to boost freight revenue, decongest rail networks, and enable faster movement. This expansion follows the successful implementation of the first 100 GCTs announced in the Union Budget 2022-23. GCTs are multi-modal terminals used by corporates to handle bulk cargo that is transported via rail. They are established under a policy that allows monetization of vacant Railway land through public-private partnerships (PPP). The first 100 GCTs were to be set up over 5 years from 2022-23. Progress of Phase 1 -77 out of the initial 100 GCTs have already been commissioned at a cost of around ₹5,400 crore. These terminals are located in states like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh. Major operators include Concor, Reliance, Adani, JSW, IOCL, and BPCL, among others. The remaining terminals are expected to be operational by the end of FY 2024-25. Buoyed by the positive response, Railways will tender for 200 more GCTs once the first 100 are completed. The additional terminals are estimated to require ₹12,000-14,000 crore in private investment. Each terminal is expected to cost an average of ₹65-70 crore, with some ranging from ₹50 crore to higher amounts. Development Models

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‘Enhancing efficiency, reliability of rail cargo crucial’

Enhancing the efficiency and reliability of rail cargo movement is crucial for optimising logistics in India, says Adhendru Jain, Vice President, Rail and Inland Terminals, DP World Subcontinent. He adds, “The government’s strong focus on creation of DFCs and MMLPs are aimed at further improving the movement of cargo via rail. The 2024-25 interim budget for India’s Railways included the introduction of three new DFCs that will support multi-modal connectivity. Enabling public-private partnerships to further boost infrastructure development and improved efficiency of rail freight movement. The establishment of the Gati Shakti Multi-Modal Cargo Terminals coupled with the expansion of MMLPs, will greatly enhance accessibility across India’s key industrial hubs, facilitating seamless cargo movement. Addressing an imbalance in cargo movement, particularly evident in the major corridors of the North-East, requires a strategic shift towards rail-based transportation, reducing reliance on road networks and fostering equilibrium in cargo movement dynamics. Moreover, the integration of coastal, air, rail, and road modes into multimodal solutions promises a sustainable and efficient last-mile connectivity framework, ensuring optimal service delivery for customers nationwide.”

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‘Changing trade policies can influence global supply chains’

“Changing trade policies can have significant ramifications on global supply chains, influencing sourcing strategies, production locations, and distribution networks,” says Keku Bomi Gazder, MD and CEO, Aviapro Logistic. He adds, “Tariffs, trade agreements, and geopolitical tensions can disrupt established supply chains, leading to increased costs, delays, and uncertainties for businesses worldwide. As a company operating within this complex landscape, we closely monitor trade policy developments and adapt our strategies accordingly. We prioritize agility and resilience in our supply chain operations to mitigate risks associated with policy changes. Additionally, we maintain open communication channels with our suppliers and partners to swiftly address any emerging challenges. From the government, we expect transparent and consistent trade policies that foster a conducive environment for international trade. Clear regulations, minimal bureaucratic hurdles, and a commitment to free and fair trade are essential for businesses to thrive in the global marketplace. Furthermore, we encourage policymakers to engage in constructive dialogues with industry stakeholders to understand their concerns and develop policies that support sustainable economic growth. Additionally, investments in infrastructure, technology, and skill development are crucial to enhance the competitiveness of Indian businesses on the global stage. By fostering an enabling environment for trade and innovation, the government can contribute to the resilience and prosperity of the Indian economy amidst evolving global dynamics.”

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Indian road logistics industry revenues to grow at 3-6% in FY2025: ICRA

ICRA expects the revenues of the Indian road logistics industry to remain range-bound and grow at sedate pace of 3-6% in FY2025, given the limited ability of players to increase the freight rates, expected softening in Government capex during the elections (given the Model Code of Conduct requirements) and moderation in consumer demand sentiments amid high inflation and interest rates. The outlook for the sector continues to be Stable, fuelled by a sustained momentum in economic activities, enhanced traction of organised trade and continued support from varied segments like e-commerce, FMCG, retail, pharmaceuticals, and industrial goods. Mr. Suprio Banerjee, Vice President & Sector Head – Corporate Ratings, ICRA Limited, said: “ICRA’s sample set witnessed a modest revenue growth of 2.3% in 9M FY2024 on a YoY basis amidst tapering demand due to high inflation, an uneven monsoon, a high interest rate regime and relatively muted festive season. Thus, on an elevated base of FY2023, ICRA estimates a low single digit growth of 2-5% in FY2024. The growth for road logistics sector in FY2025 is expected to be in the range of 3-6% , owing to the impact on demand from high inflation, high interest rate regime and soft (though improving) consumer sentiment. The industry operating profit margin contracted to 11.2% in 9M FY2024 (down ~150 bps YoY), on account of increase in operating costs (ex-fuel) due to the high inflationary regime, and pressure on realisations, given the sticky retail diesel rates, limiting any formula-driven price rise. ICRA expects the margins to remain in the range of 10.5-12.5% in FY2024 and FY2025 over 12.4% in FY2023 amidst inflationary headwinds and despite benefits of efficiency gains due to increasing digitalisation and value-added …

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Rewari Gati Shakti Cargo Terminal opens for rail freight operations

DFCCIL Managing Director RK Jain recently inaugurated the Rewari Gati Shakti Cargo Terminal by flagging off a container carrier freight train. Other senior officials of DFCCIL including Director Operation and Business Development N Srinivas and Director Finance Heera Ballabh were also present on the occasion.This terminal has been commissioned by DFCCIL within a short span of 75 days at New Rewari Station Line No 10 of Western DFC. New Rewari Gati Shakti Cargo Terminal is an important terminal for container traffic. For this, an investment of about Rs 8 crore has been made by the GCT operator. The entire terminal access charge will be passed on by the GCT operator to the Indian Railways i.e. DFCCIL. This is a revolutionary change in the existing system of Indian Railways.With the commissioning of this terminal, there is a possibility of an increase of about 30 per cent in container traffic. The terminal will act as a logistics hub for EXIM container traffic under the ‘hub-and-spoke’ policy of the Indian Railways. With the commissioning of Rewari Gati Shakti Cargo Terminal, the operational efficiency of goods trains will increase and time and money will also be saved.

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AVG Logistics takes parcel cargo express train on lease for Rs 105 crores

AVG Logistics Ltd has taken on lease Parcel Cargo Express Train, (goods train) running from Chennai to Guwahati for Rs 105 crore. The train will be used by AVG Logistics to transport its goods and will ply four times in a month, completing 313 trips during the lease period of six years. Although the train will be managed and operated by the Indian Railways, the responsibility for filling the train with goods lies with AVG Logistics. AVG will transport goods such as tyres, textiles, readymade garments, FMCG products and agarbattis. From Guwahati, the train is expected to transport goods like tea, bamboo products, plastic goods, mosquito repellents, FMCG items and hair oil. Indian Railways has inked similar deals with DTDC Express, DRTC Logistics, DOT Express, Patel Roadways, V-Trans and FastDespatch Logistics. The scheme, called Parcel Cargo Express Train, was introduced in 2020, and promoted as an alternative to booking an entire goods cabin, said official reports.

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DP World, Vedanta partner to facilitate seamless cargo movement from Goa to Modinagar

DP World has partnered with Vedanta Sesa Goa to facilitate the seamless movement of crude iron cargo from the coastal state of Goa to its cutting-edge inland container depot at Modinagar, said DP World’s official LinkedIn post. This rail freight solution aims to reduce reliance on road transport, alleviate traffic congestion, cut road maintenance costs, and contribute to environmental sustainability through its capacity to handle bulk cargo. The transition from road to rail is expected to result in a 70% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for Vedanta Sesa Goa. This partnership underscores our commitment towards fostering innovation, ensuring sustainability, and elevating the standards of cargo transportation in the metallurgical industry, the post added.

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‘More airports in tier 2 & 3 cities, rise in exports, infra, multimodal connectivity’

With the focus on making India ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the interim budget and said the government’s focus is now on Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas.” She said, “Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities will have more modern airports, in the coming years, there will be 11% increase in overall infrastructure expenditure. Exports will be doubled to ₹1-lakh crore rupees,” said FM. Touching upon measures that will be taken to expand India’s railway infrastructure, Sitharaman announced, three major railway economic corridors including energy, mineral and cement corridor, a port connectivity corridor and a high traffic density corridor. “Railway projects have been identified under the PM Gati Shakti Yojana for enabling multi-modal connectivity. These will improve logistics efficiency and reduce costs. Decongestion of high traffic corridors will result in improving operations, which in turn would result in safety and higher travel speeds for passengers. These corridors, along with dedicated freight corridors, will accelerate our GDP and reduce logistic costs. Finance Minister also said that the government is focused on more comprehensive ‘governance, development, performance’ – termed as ‘GDP’.

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