Container train operators may have to shell out more towards haulage charges which account for 60-70 per cent of their operating cost.
This is because the Indian Railways decided to increase haulage charges for these operators by up to 22 per cent with effect from December. It is learnt that the railways would hike it further in February 2013.
Reports indicate that 77 million tonne of goods in the form of containers is transported through rail route every year. Haulage charges is something that container train operators pay Indian Railways for using the tracks, locomotives and signalling infrastructure.
The ministry permitted 16 outfits to run container trains. They include listed companies such as Container Corporation of India (Concor), Arshiya International, Gateway Distriparks; and those backed by shipping lines such as Hind Terminals and APL India Infrastructure.
The hike varies depending on weight. For moving empty containers on flat wagons, or flat wagons without containers, the hike is 22 per cent from December, and 31 per cent from February 1. Owing to India’s export-import imbalance, operators have to increasingly move empty containers on the route.
The Railways has also introduced a 0-10 tonne weight, which will be charged at close to current 20-tonne level charges.