In a bid to boost the freight traffic by Indian Railways, Western Railway has set up multi -disciplinary Business Development Units (BDU) at Zonal Headquarters and its Divisional Units. The aim of setting up these BDUs is to improve business prospects in freight market by incorporating new ideas and initiatives.
As per the directives of the Railway Board, Western Rly has also come up with various incentive schemes to attract freight transporters to tie up with Railways for transportation of their goods and parcels.
With the help of these freight incentives, Indian Railways is offering the traffic to freight customers at competitive unit rates, which are lower as compared to Road transportation and to add to this, freight will be delivered to the destination at speedier pace with assured timings.
According to a press release issued by WR CPRO Sumit Thakur, in continuation to this, Western Rly’s newly created Business Development Units have created history with big achievements of two trains for Bangladesh within a week including WR’s 1st Goods train from Dhoraji station of Bhavnagar division on 4th August, 2020 & WR’s 1st parcel special train from Kankariya Goods shed, which departed for Benapole on 9th August, 2020.
It’s worth mentioning that Alok Kansal – General Manager of Western Rly, is monitoring all the major aspects of BDUs & motivating all concerned energetic teams of divisional BDUs, to achieve big success for new freight business, in their respective divisions. The first breakthrough post setting up of the BDU was made when Bhavnagar division loaded the onion rake from Dhoraji to Bangladesh (Darshana) on 4th August, 2020.
The onion rake covered 2437 kms from Dhoraji to Darshana. Constant marketing efforts and interactions by the BDU with APMCs and onion merchants located in Dhoraji, Upleta and Gondal area made this success possible. Dhoraji station was made fit for loading in a very short time, by undertaking some earthwork as suggested by WR team, as well as inputs received from loading party.
Thus, Dhoraji station got opened for loading in least possible time. The new freight traffic for Bhavnagar division generated revenue of about Rs 46 lakhs, with possibilities of two more rakes being loaded this month.
Thakur stated that the other achievement of such BDUs set up was made by Ahmedabad division, where a parcel special train has been booked for Benapole station of Bangladesh. This parcel special train will traverse 2110 km from Kankaria to Benapole. It is carrying commodities like cloth materials, chemicals and dyes in various VPUs and departed on 9th August, 2020.
The revenue earned from this, is Rs 30.50 lakh. It is also expected that four to five parcel special trains will be booked for Benapole station very soon. It is indeed a matter of pride that our Zonal Railways are not just serving the people of India, but are crossing international borders to serve the people of Bangladesh too.
It is pertinent to mention here that WR has seen a remarkable increase in its loading this financial year, despite the fact that there was countrywide lockdown and labour constraints. WR achieved best loading of 65 rakes in Iron & Steel in July, 2020. There has been an enormous increase in the loading of mini rakes, with 249 rakes having been loaded in four months from April to July 2020, as against 2 rakes in the same period last year.
WR has loaded 30 rakes of dwarf double stack since the route opened in October, 2019. Out of this, 17 rakes were loaded this financial year, with the highest being 6 rakes in July, 2020.
Since April to July, 2020, 744 two point destination rakes were loaded as compared to 621 rakes during corresponding period of last year and 11 rakes were loaded from two originating point to single destination. In line with the goal of doubling the speed, Western Rly has achieved speed of goods train of 43 km/hr in July, 2020, as compared to 27 km/hr in the previous year.
Thakur stated that since the recent BDUs set up on WR, several meetings have been held with 75 customers of Chambers of Commerce Trade & Industries, State Govt officials and handling agents. WR has assured customers that wherever feasible, concessions will be made like liberal permission for stacking for loading in parcel special train for Bangladesh.
Prospective clients have also given their suggestions and sought discount in loading certain commodities, for which deliberations are being made by WR in order to develop and envisage a better business relation. He furrher stated that these new initiatives by Western Rly, will definitely open the new doors of economic & industrial growth of the nation.