New Delhi: Indian Railways achieved a significant milestone of pulling freight traffic ahead of last year’s level amid COVID-19 challenges, said a Ministry of Railways statement on Thursday (August 20).

On August 19, 2020, the freight loading was 3.11 million tonnes which is higher than last year for the same date (2.97 million tonnes). On the same date, Indian Railways also earned Rs 306.1 crore from freight loading which is Rs 5.28 crore higher than last year for the same date (Rs 300.82 crore), the statement said.

Till 19th August 2020, the total freight loading is 57.47 million tonnes which is higher than last year for the same period (53.65 million tonnes), and Railways earned Rs 5461.21 crore from freight loading which is Rs 25.9 crore higher than last year for the same period (Rs 5435.31 crore).

Notably, Indian Railways is going to promote Railways’ freight service, making traders, businesses, and suppliers aware of the benefits associated with transportation through railways.

1. Some benefits of Railway freight transportation includes:

– Economical transportation due to the subsidies provided
– Prompt and efficient delivery of goods
– Safe transportation, ensuring goods reach their destination without damage
– Environment-friendly method of transportation – will reduce the carbon footprint
– Introduction of a special train like Kisan Rail, accruing additional benefits to farmers and keeping perishables fresh for consumption

2. These promotions can be done in collaboration with Industry Associations.
3. Focus on how manufacturers and wholesalers will be benefitted as they will get their stock timely for Diwali
4. Indian Railways will publicise direct contact numbers and website details which can be accessed by traders for transporting freight, enhancing their ease.
5. Indian Railways can share human interest stories, highlighting how the common man is able to easily procure products for his daily needs and benefiting from the efficient services of Indian Railways.

Some of the major novel freight initiatives of Indian Railways are:

1. Business development units set up at all three levels – Division, Zones, Railways Board
2. Doubled the speed of freight trains from 23 kmph to 46 kmph
3. Timetabled parcel trains started from 30th March 2020 – 20 pairs
4. Opening up of export traffic to Bangladesh for Parcels and Containers – 10th July 2020 
5. Opening up of Export traffic to Bangladesh for Automobiles – 12th August 2020
6. Kisan Rail introduced from Devlali (Nashik) to Danapur (Patna) – multiple stoppages, multiple commodities, multiple parties-2 trips already run on 7th and 14th August 2020 
7. Freight cargo express trains – Vyapaar Mala Express trains
8. Tariff and non-tariff initiatives to make Rail transportation more attractive
9. Good sheds being improved on mission mode – 405 identified
10. Pilot project launched with ‘Department of Posts’ to provide door-to-door service to customers

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