Updated 8:27 am, Jul 29, 2020

Punjab Exporters Prefer Road To Rail For Transporting Goods || SNE

Jan 25, 2019

On average, save up to Rs 20,000 per container on logistics

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Chandigarh, January 24

Punjab-based exporters prefer to send goods to ports in containers via road network rather than goods train. Reason: cost-effectiveness and quick and scheduled delivery to ports by truckers. The road route is preferred by the manufacturers of items having low weight such as tyres, sports goods and yarns.According to the industry, the road network is used by the exporters whose volume and frequency of exports is more. On an average, an exporter saves between Rs 12,000 and Rs 20,000 per container by sending the consignment via road to the Mundra port in Gujarat.


“Exporters are facing a unique challenge where the cost of transportation by road is less as compared to that of rail network. Many exporters who have bulk volume to export prefer road network to using Inland Container Depot (ICD) Ludhiana facilities,” said Ludhiana Customs House Agents Association president Rajesh Verma.The cost of transportation of goods to Mundra port in Gujarat via road is cheaper as compared to freight of railways.


“There is a huge savings in terms of transportation if the volume of goods to be exported is more. On an average, if we transport goods from Bathinda to Mundra port, we tend to save Rs 20,000 per container,” said a senior executive working with Sportking Group, which uses road as well as rail network for export of yarns.The exporters said even rice shipments are moved by road in open trucks and Mundra port provides free warehousing facility to them for attracting business.


“Average time taken for full container load (FCL) of exports to reach the vessel is at least 13-14 days via rail network. Due to this, time-sensitive shipments are sent directly to gateway ports by road network, which normally takes 3-4 days,” he added.In addition to this, the exporters said custodians of ICD have started imposing additional charges instead of making it competitive.  “The ICD has started levying additional charges such as documentation charges, surveyor charges, data charges and infrastructure development charges. This puts extra burden on the exporters and is also one of the reasons for many exporters shifting to road network,” an exporter added.


The exporters added that representations to the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) for waiving these charges did not yield any positive results.They further added that the ICD, Ludhiana, has a potential to handle over 25,000 TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit) capacity per month, but because of various issues, it is unable to utilise its optimum capacity.The exporters said average time taken by import containers to reach the ICD, Ludhiana, from the gateway port is around 3-4 weeks. The exporters who need raw material to meet their export obligations suffer the most.


Road route cost-effective


  • Savings per container: Rs 5,000, Rs 20,000

  • Goods at place of business or warehouse are loaded in a container and sealed with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag and customs clearance is carried out at ports or Inland Contained Depot

  • In case of transportation of goods by rail, customs clearance is carried out at ICD, Ludhiana

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