Indian Railways, India’s national carrier, wants to attract more corporate customers and capture the modal freight from national highways to dedicated freight corridors. Previously, the railways announced according to the national railway plan that they intend to take 40-45% of the total domestic cargo from the current 26- 27% by 2030.
To benefit the same, the Ministry of Railways is likely to offer several concessions to truck drivers on dedicated freight corridors (DFC). According to the sources, a 25-30% reduction in the existing ro-ro costs can be expected, as well as some other concessions on the traffic of empty wagons.
The Railway Board and the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC) addressed the issue after the DFCC stressed that the current ro-ro rates were too high to allow truckers to switch from road to rail.
The ro-ro trucks, with or without cargo, are loaded on trains using a ramp that is provided at the end of a loop on the BRN wagon (open wagons built for truck transport only). Before loading, trucks are weighed and run under an altimeter to ensure they meet safe traffic regulations.
A DFCC official said that although the segment is new for them, the private sector’s demand for ro-ro services is significant, as the trucker saves money in three ways: fuel consumption, tolls and vehicle wear and tear.
Currently, ro-ro traffic is minimal because current rates are not viable as RoRo reduces the extent of damage and delays in moving goods from one transport to another by solving last-mile connectivity problems.
Currently, these services are running on DFCC tracks and Konkan Railways.