India’s dedicated freight corridor takes center stage for freight transport

  • June 28, 2023
  • News

With the new dedicated freight corridor (DFC) in place, the Exim cargo movement in India is much better, faster, and cost-effective, providing a much-needed boost to the trade. Previously, a container train from Katuwas in the Haryana-Rajasthan border generally used to take 3 to 4 days to reach Pipavav port in Gujarat, but using the DFC through a double stack rail network, the duration has been reduced to less than 24 hrs. The WDFC (Western Dedicated Freight Corridor) links Rewari in Haryana with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Maharashtra, but the trade has been made easy with the connectivity of Gujarat ports — Mundra, Kandla, Pipavav, Dahej and Hazira with WDFC.

Mundra, Kandla and Pipavav are already linked to DFC while the connectivity of Dahej and Hazira is to be completed by June-July 2023. It is expected by December 2023, all key ports on the West Coast will get connected to the DFC enabling movement of double-stack container trains.

Girish Aggarwal, MD, APM Terminals Pipavav stated that the links will enhance the convenience of moving goods to-from the ports and the time will also reduce significantly as the double stack train can carry a larger volume of cargo in each trip allowing shippers to move more goods in the same amount of time. This has also increased the rail line capacity utilisation by up to 150%. In addition, the electrification of DFC and feeder lines with OHE (Overhead equipment) vertical clearance of 7.2 m against 5.5 m is enabling shipping players to transport double the number of containers at the same cost. Shippers also need not depend on expensive road transport and face multiple logistics challenges.

The WDFC is planned and designed to support heavy haul freight transportation, with special priority to track strength, signalling and electrification, making WDFC a safe and reliable option for transporting complex and heavy containers and enabling shippers to move more complex and heavy containers per trip and improving the overall efficiency of the transport.

Even the stakeholders are witnessing the potential of DFC, which is future-ready, effective, sustainable, and offers private and inland terminals for smooth last-mile – first-mile connectivity.