"In the long-term, railway freight operations will grow at a steady pace due to the opening up of multi-modal logistics parks and coming up of DFCs," Abhilesh Babel of Feedback Infra said
The Indian Railways is pulling out all stops to increase its share of freight traffic. Considered a high-frequency economic indicator, it has taken various measures to boost freight operations, including launching a freight business development portal.
Abhilesh Babel, CEO - Infra Advisory, Feedback Infra, feels the railways is on the right track.
"Railways has shown strong organic growth in freight, despite short-term fluctuations in cargo loading. The same is going to further improve, with the full-operationalisation of the eastern and western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC). As and when the government completes privatisation of CONCOR, it will provide additional boost to freight traffic. Railways should be in the business of owning tracks and running trains, not in the business of controlling and servicing cargo, which may be better managed through private sector enterprise. Even in bulk cargo, railways should invite private operators like container train operators," he told Moneycontrol.
So, what does the freight market look like for the national transporter in the long run?
"In the long-term, railway freight operations will grow at a steady pace due to the opening up of multi-modal logistics parks and coming up of DFCs," Babel said.
Earlier this month, railway minister Piyush Goyal said freight movement through railways will be higher than last year.
According to data provided by railways, freight loading as of October 21 stood at 68.01 MT . In September, it had surpassed the 100 MT mark.The average speed of a freight train has almost doubled to 50 km an hour from last year's level of 23-24 km.