Why automakers are choosing rail over roads to transport vehicles
and the resultant lockdowns in the country did disrupt supply chain and
negatively impacted industries, right, left and the middle. But the Indian Railways which incurred huge
revenue loss from passenger trains found a way out to make the best of the
worst in timely diversification of the commodities it carried across the
meeting challenges efficiently and automobile manufacturers strategically
shifted to rails to transport their vehicles. Truck drivers were not available
and lockdown severely restricted inter-state movements. Pandemic in a way is a
national disaster in two major areas: finance and human resources.
Indeed, it was
obvious to the government that loading was registering a rise in the railways.
According to a government official, . “Due to lockdown, loading was less in
April, May and June. However, it picked up from July. Better monitoring of
rakes improved turnaround, ensuring better availability of rakes for loading.
243 rakes were loaded in August (2020) against 127 last year. Similarly, up to
9 September, 79 rakes were loaded as against 33 last year.”
The Railways offered very effective benefits
offered very effective benefits much needed:
it reduced transit time by increasing the speed of the trains. Cost
cutting is an essential commercial value of lasting benefit. On a larger plane,
since it decongested road traffic, it helped the nation in its ambition of
reducing carbon foot print.
Piyush Goyal had rightly pointed out that the national transporter is changing
its work ‘culture’ that focuses on its customers, aiming to raise its share of
freight business to 40%
Freight trains moved fast, while trucks moved slow
lockdown regions to reach the destination, freight trains moved fast, while
trucks moved slow due to multiple challenges, including state border issues.
This increased de-facto availability of rolling stock due to quicker transport
for rail logistics service providers,” Umesh Bhanot, Managing Director, APL
Logistics Vascor Automotive Pvt. Ltd has
second-largest carmaker by volume, Hyundai Motor India Ltd said that currently,
over 10% of its total volumes are dispatched through the railway from two
terminals near their factories.