Railways is also working on its marketing plan and setting up business development units across different zones so that they are able to connect with concerned stakeholders
NEW DELHI: Indian Railways aims to increase the modal share of its freight business to 40%, Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday, adding the national transporter is changing its work "culture" to provide safe, swift, punctual, efficient and cost-effective solutions to its customers.
Despite a stringent lockdown in the first two months of the current fiscal, freight loading has gradually increased. In the first six days of September, freight loading was 19.19 million tonnes (MT) up 10.41% on-year, the railway minister said.
“We are trying to create a new railways…to make railways the preferred mode of transport and take the modal share to more than 35% or up to 40%. Bring down logistics cost of a company as a whole," Goyal said at a virtual industry event organized by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
The freight business currently comprises 33% of the Railways' overall operations. The national transporter has been offering discounts to make freight services more attractive. It has taken several measures in the last few months to ramp up its freight revenue, including doubling the speed of freight trains from 23 kmph to 46 kmph, opening up of export traffic to Bangladesh for parcels and containers, and automobiles, among others.
It is also working on its marketing plan and setting up business development units across different railway zones so that they are able to connect with concerned stakeholders.
With bare minimum revenue from passenger train services due to the lockdown, Indian Railways is banking on its freight revenue this fiscal year to at least match up to last year’s overall revenue generation.
“Now instead of customer coming to railways, we have business development units in every division reaching out to customers. People are telling me it’s a shock when we get a call from the railways…otherwise earlier people had to approach Railways and plead for a rake," he said.
“That’s the change in culture in railways that is helping us in good stead and helping us to work in partnership with private companies," he said.