Pristine Logistics to set up four private freight terminals

Pristine Logistics is the latest to queue up for setting up private freight terminals (PFT) in Indore, Ludhiana, Patna and Cuttack.

The Railway Board already has close to 35 proposals from 22 companies for setting up PFTs. The companies include Concor, Kribhco Rail Infrastructure, Lloyd Steel and Hind Terminals, amongst others.

In PFT business — rights of which are given by the Railways — operators are allowed to handle various types of goods for the Railways, roads and various value-added services. To become PFT operators, companies have to pay Rs 2 crore to the Railways, out of which Rs 1 crore is paid back after the notification.

The size of each of Pristine’s private freight terminals would be about 50 acres and land has been acquired by the company. The company has received Rs 60-crore investment from India Infrastructure Development Fund of UTI Capital recently.

“Pristine’s PFT projects are greenfield in nature and in about a year, three of these parks — Indore, Ludhiana, and Patna — will start operations,” Amit Kumar, Director, Pristine Logistics, said. The terminals will handle commodities such as cement, foodgrain, and pulses, Kumar said.

Pristine Logistics is a start-up backed by Amit Kumar, Rajnish Kumar, and Sanjay Mawar. Both Amit and Rajnish were earlier in railway traffic service, and have worked in Container Corporation of India and Gateway Distriparks Ltd, the private container train operator, before starting this venture.

According to Railways’ policy, brownfield PFT operators have to share 50 per cent of cargo handling revenue or Rs 20 a tonne — whichever is higher — with the Railways, after two years of operation; while greenfield PFT operators have to share the same five years after commencing operations.

The Railways asks for this revenue share because it provides access to its over 65,000-km network. Moreover, business of PFTs is expected to increase by offering rail-based transportation services.

Rlys’ private freight terminals biz draws Tata Steel, 21 others

Indian Railways’ private freight terminals (PFTs) appear to be catching up slowly. A host of companies, including Tata Steel, Kribhco Rail Infrastructure, Concor, Sahani Logistics, India Glycols-backed Kashipur Infra Freight Terminals, Central Warehouse Corporation, and Rajasthan Spinning Mills are queuing to be operators.

The Ministry now has close to 35 proposals for PFTs from 22 companies. Of this, the Railways has notified eight terminals, approved 15 and the remaining are under consideration. Setting up a PFT will require Rs 100-150 crore.

The gene-pool of companies is varied — logistics players, container train operators, mining companies such as Goa-based Fomento Group, and commodity trading firms such as Navkar Group.


A PFT operator can handle various types of goods for the Railways and provide value-added services such as storage and distribution. This is different from private rail sidings where Railways permitted specific type of cargo to be handled, usually on a captive use basis for use by the company that built the siding.

There were two reasons for Railways to come out with a PFT policy, apart from the fact that land acquisition has become difficult.

First, private good sidings that were built years ago in outskirts are now a part of the cities.

These sidings, which are small going by the current norms, and cannot accept or despatch cargo during the day as large trucks entries are restricted for most part of the day. So, the rail freight customer evacuates cargo and moves to another distribution point. PFTs — which will be much larger and located in outskirts — are expected to eliminate this layer of handling and reduce costs for customers.

Also, by allowing companies to earn revenue by handling cargo of various types, the Railways expects to get some incremental cargo, and attract some cargo from the road as well.


Many rail private sidings are converting their sidings to PFTs. Close to half the PFT proposals are brownfield.

Many container train operators are also converting their inland container depots (ICDs) to PFTs so that they can handle non-containerised cargo as well.

Private parties to develop freight terminals

ALLAHABAD: In order to strengthen freight traffic, the railway authorities have decided to develop freight handling terminals with the participation of private sector. Under the plan, private freight terminals (PFTs) would be established at potential points across the country.

North Central Railway spokesperson RD Bajpai said that the objectives of the plan is also to divert `finished freight traffic’, predominantly moving by road so far, to rail and attain increased freight volumes by offering integrated, efficient and cost effective logistics and warehousing solutions to users. The policy seeks to supplement the in-house programme of railways by opening the area of terminal development with participation of major logistics providers to create world class facilities.

Executive director of freight marketing, Railway Board, GD Brahma has written letters to chief commercial managers of all the zonal railways for outlining the details of the plan.

The PFTs would provide various logistics related services like warehousing facilities, value addition services like labelling, processing of goods and convenience centre etc.

Such terminals would be set up only on private land. However, for rail connectivity, the railway land can be offered as per rules. A PFT would be permitted to book and handle all traffic excluding outward coal, coke and iron ore traffic. All types of wagons permitted to run on IR network shall have access to the PFTs. The PFTs would function round-the-clock on all days.

Railways’ Policy on Automobile hub formulated

In a significant policy initiative to facilitate bulk movement of traffic by rail in automobile sector and to increase Railways’ share in automobile transportation, the Ministry of Railways has formulated policy on development of automobile and ancillary hub. This policy has become effective from 16th June 2010. Under this policy, any registered company in India i.e. manufacture of automobile or logistics company or Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturer (SIAM) or registered freight train operator having annual turnover of Rs. 20 crore during last financial year, can apply. Railway land will be provided for such hubs on license basis initially for a period of 7 years. The license fee shall be payable as per extant policy. Automobile and ancillary hubs shall be a common user facility for general use of the automobile industry, without any exclusive right.

The policy formulation comes in the wake of the announcement made by the Minister of Railways Mamata Banerjee in the Railways Budget 2010-11, wherein she has stated that there was a need of the hour to develop new business models and invite domestic investment through PPP mode in areas like new lines to world class stations, auto hubs to ancillary industries, manufacturing units of rolling stock to multi–modal logistic parks, high speed train corridors to port connectivity and multi-level parking to mine connectivity etc. Earlier the Ministry of Railways has finalized a policy on Private Freight Terminal (PFT) with the participation of the private sector and also finalized a policy on Special Freight Train Operator Scheme (SFTO) to provide an opportunity to private investors to use advantages of rail transport to market train services to end users.

The objective of the policy on development of automobile and ancillary hub is to increase the modal share of Railways in transportation of automobiles, which is one of the fastest growing industries in India. With the induction of high capacity auto carriers, having higher throughput as planned by the Indian Railways and as proposed under Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO), more number of rakes will be inducted with competitive freight structure. This will increase Indian Railways’ modal share in automobiles traffic, warranting development of more automobile and ancillary hubs to facilitate end to end logistics.

Development of automobile and ancillary hubs will provide an opportunity to automobile manufacturers to carry their traffic by rail in bulk and do secondary distribution to consuming centers in the immediate catchments areas from such hubs. Similarly they can also do aggregation of automobile at such hubs so as to offer full rake load to railways. This will improve rail co-efficient of the commodity.

The policy document also include eligible criteria, license fee and other relevant details which can be seen at Ministry of Railways’ website