Home » Infrascape 2012 | Rail Logistics: Haulage policy will have detrimental effect

Infrascape 2012 | Rail Logistics: Haulage policy will have detrimental effect

Infrascape 2012 | Rail Logistics: Haulage policy will have detrimental effect

Sajal Mittra, CEO, Arshiya Rail Infrastructure 

The Private Container Train Operator (PCTO) ind­ustry has seen an overall CAGR of 20 per cent from FY08 to FY11, but the growth in the domestic sector has been 40 per cent for the same period as compared to 15 per cent in EXIM. The railways ministry's (MoR) mark­eting and commercial policy and initiatives have left much to be desired. MoR views CTOs as mere aggregators of piecemeal traffic and believe they should focus prim­arily on the EXIM segment. However, the true need lies in the highly underserved domestic segment.

Access to private sidings: However, the move has a couple of glitches: the period of granting access to a particular terminal, and handling third-party cargo.

PFT and marketing initiatives: The Private Freight Terminal (PFT), Special Freight Train Operator Policy, Auto Freight Train Operator, Auto and Ancillary Hub Policy are appreciated by the industry. However, other than PFT, none of the policies have taken off primarily due to incentives/rebates.

New ports: Commissioning of the ICTT at Vallarpadam, bulk terminals at Dahej, Mundra and Hazira (Gujarat), the first phase at Dhamra (Orissa) has opened up opportunities for CTOs. 

Progress on DFCs: Recent developments such as land acquisition in Maharashtra have resulted in a ret­raction in the Dedicated Freight Corridors' final deadline to 2017.

Haulage Rate Circulars: The single most detrime­ntal development in the sector in 2011 has been the haulage rate circular RC-05. This circular has not only deprived PCTO from acquiring new business in the notified commodities but also put nearly 80 per cent of the overall cargo traffic (including restricted commo­dities) out of the reach of the CTOs.

We expect the upcoming months to be all the more difficult. While the EXIM sector will be the most vulnerable in case of a global slowdown, we hope it leads the railways to realise the importance of the domestic segment and prompt a positive move or even withdrawal/modification of various rate circulars and pricing policies currently being made applicable for domestic container movements. Arshiya Rail will also enter the EXIM sector, starting with operationalisation of the Chennai-Bangalore EXIM segment in Nov 2011.

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