Union Minister Piyush Goyal Launches Portal to Promote Railways' Freight Business
File photo of Piyush Goyal. (Image for representation/ Reuters)
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal launched an exclusive portal to promote and develop the railways' freight business on Tuesday. The Indian Railways' freight business development portal will act as a "one-stop, single-window" solution for all the needs of its freight customers, he said.
"In a paradigm shift, the first-of-its-kind dedicated freight portal to ensure that all operations stay customer-centric, reduce the costs for logistics providers, provide online-tracking facility for suppliers and also simplify the process of goods transportation. "The new portal will be a game-changer in ensuring ease of doing business with the railways," Goyal said.
He highlighted how, during the lockdown, the railways was providing relentless services in freight transportation in the country. The Indian Railways achieved its highest-ever loading continuously in September, October, November and December 2020. The Indian Railways has embraced a "freight on priority" policy by pushing for an aggressive customer-centric approach to expand the freight carried not only from the traditional segments, but also by attracting new customers to its fold, "in its commitment to take the level of customer services to new heights," Goyal said.
The portal has been specially designed and developed, keeping in mind the varied needs of all existing and new customers with a focus on ease of doing business to bring more transparency and provide professional support. The portal will introduce the railways' freight business, list various benefits, guide the customers while searching for the most suitable terminal with the details of various terminal facilities and logistics services available, assist them in choosing the right wagon and present the expected charges and estimated time for their planned freight transportation.
A new customer can register on the portal and place a demand for wagons in the most convenient way. The personalised dashboard of the portal gives one access to a customer's business details with the railways, including outstanding indents, on-run consignments, the status of various interactions, a facility to apply for various services and raise concerns.
Customers can also live-track their consignments and use single-click applications for various services — discount schemes, diversion, re-booking, demurrage and wharfage waivers, stacking permissions and many more. The railways has also invited aggregators, truckers, warehouse owners and labour providers to offer their services to its more than 9,000 freight customers at over 4,000 freight terminals.
With passenger train services suspended due to the coronavirus crisis, the railways is banking heavily on freight revenues for its earnings. The railways' freight loading and the resultant earnings for the month of December 2020 crossed the figures for the same period in 2019.
In December 2020, the railways' loading was 118.13 million tonnes, which is 8.54 per cent higher compared to the loading for the same period in 2019 (108.84 million tonnes). In this period, the national transporter earned Rs 11,788.11 crore from freight loading, which is also Rs 757.74 crore (6.87 per cent) more than the earnings for the same period in 2019 (Rs 11,030.37 crore).