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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 13 March, 2021

  • 5 Min Read

Railway freight usage surpasses FY20 level

Railway freight usage surpasses FY20 level

Context

  • The Railways on Friday said its freight loading for the financial year 2020-21 has already surpassed the levels achieved during the last fiscal, as of March 12, driven by transportation demand from newer sectors such as automobiles, onion, sand and cotton.
  • In 2020-21, the Railways has till now loaded 1145.68 million tonnes (mt) of freight, marginally higher from 1145.61 mt in the previous year.

‘Emerging from deficit’

  • As per the details shared by the Railways, there was a shortfall of about 50 mt in loading of coal, which comprises half of its freight, along with decline in loading of petroleum, oil and lubricants.
  • However, loading of commodities such as foodgrains, iron and steel, cement and clinker, fertilizers and other goods saw good growth.
  • “The incremental loading of more than 15 mt in other goods [from 78.93 mt to over 94 mt] is indicative of freight basket diversification.
    • For example, in non-traditional commodities, we saw a growth of 64% in automobiles, 36% in fly ash, 57% in stone, 234% in onion, 439% in chemical salt, 274% in sand, 19% in sugar and 266% in cotton...
  • With fewer passenger trains operational, Railways was able to almost double the average speed of freight trains to 44 kmph from 23.29 kmph earlier.
  • A number of concessions/discounts are also being given in Indian Railways to make rail freight movement very attractive.

Source: TH


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