Indian Railways may upgrade its parcel policy, taking inspiration from airlines

indian railways

The Indian Railways may upgrade its parcel policy, which dictates ferrying of small goods, is being changed to allow movement of cell phones and sanitisers as parcels on the railway network, to leverage on e-commerce growth. Railways has taken inspiration from air freight carriers and have decided to formulate and implement similar guidelines as them.

Under the current policy, some objects of daily use are not allowed to be transported; and with the policy upgrade they will be included along with cell phones, though with stringent packaging and other safety conditions.

Officials have been suspecting that smaller e-commerce players are deliberately mis-labelling such restricted products to transport them on the railways network, but the larger ones have been pushing forth for policy changes.

Back in February this year, Indian Railways started ramping up their game with plans for door-to-door delivery of goods to individual as well as bulk buyers. Click to read more.

The policy change is expected to boost the prospects for e-commerce players, considering that roughly 8-10% of all goods sold by Amazon in India already move through the Indian Railway network.

According to railways’ officials, railways is becoming a popular transport medium for e-commerce players and will be enhanced once more routes are added. Currently, goods are booked as parcels and are transported in parcel wagons, which are attached to passenger trains. Sometimes, when passenger trains are running at full capacity, such parcel wagons cannot be attached. This often causes delays in scheduled movement of goods. It is estimated that the railway needs roughly 450 tonnes of goods to be booked before running a dedicated parcel special train.

As of now, parcel booking/delivery is allowed at around 750 stations over Indian railways. Booking/delivery of parcel from these stations can be done in those passenger trains which have a scheduled stop of at least 05 minutes at that particular station.

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