Private container train operators demand tariff regulator

The Association of Container Train Operators, or ACTO, lobby group said Tuesday the government should set up a rail tariff regulatory authority for rational, transparent freight rates.

Indian Railways had opened up the rail transportation of containers in 2006 to private operators that had already invested more than Rs4,000 crore in wagons, containers and terminals in addition to Rs650 crore for securing a licence from the government.

However, the group said rail haulage charges have been increased eight times during the last seven years since deregulation, resulting in a cumulative increase of 73%-128% in different weight slabs, while tariffs for transport of bulk cargo by rail, in which investment in wagons is by the Railways themselves, has increased by a mere 32% over the same period.

The railway ministry prescribes haulage charges for transportation of containers by rail from time to time. These operators, including state-run Container Corp. of India Ltd, pay haulage charges to the ministry for using the railways’ track, locomotives, signalling infrastructure and staff for running their container trains to ports from inland locations and back.

Pipavav port handles record box trains in a day

Port Pipavav, situated in the Amreli district of Gujarat, on Thursday said that it set a new national record on July 17, 2012 by handling 14 container trains in a day. This is by far the largest number of container trains handled in a day by any container terminal in India, according to a company statement here.

From three to five trains per day in 2009, the port has steadily increased the rail frequency to 14 trains in a day in 2012. In June 2012, the port created a new benchmark for itself by handling 197 container trains in the month. Increasing volumes and operational efficiencies made it possible for the port to enhance rail volumes and frequency.

Mr C.K. Rajan, Head of Container Business at APM Terminals Pipavav, said that with the new rail-mounted gantry cranes scheduled to become operational in the fourth quarter this year, its efficiencies will improve further, attracting more cargo volumes at the port.

In 2011, the port handled 610,243 TEUs, an increase of 31% over 2010. In 2010, volumes grew by 45% and in 2009 it had grown by 65%.

Port Pipavav launched double stack container trains in India for the first time in 2006.

The port is now working towards making it a double stack high cube compatible corridor by the end of 2012. The port currently has eight railway sidings and will be adding three more as volumes grow further.

Simultaneously, the port has improved efficiencies in handling bulk cargo. A new Gottwald crane and new storage yards are already operational. So far, the port has predominantly handled coal and fertilizers and is planning to increase the number of commodities handled at the port. The new bagging plant will soon be commissioned.

Published in: on July 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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