Indian Railways’ special parcel train flagged off on four routes

Back in January, there were speculations of a partnership between the Indian Railways and India Post to run a special joint parcel train service – the Rail Post Gati Shakti Express Cargo Service. Yesterday, the South Central Railways conducted the maiden run of the special parcel train from Kacheguda railway station to Hazrat Nizamuddin station, carrying parcel consignments including 15 tonnes of Cadbury chocolates from Renigunta. 

Earlier on Thursday, the Northern Railways also started the Rail Post Gati Shakti Express Cargo Service from Okhla ICOD to Chitpur in West Bengal. At present, the Rail Post Gati Shakti Express Cargo Service is plying on four routes – Delhi to Kolkata, Bangalore to Guwahati, Surat to Muzaffarpur, and Hyderabad to Hazrat Nizamuddin.

The Joint Parcel Product (JPP) partnership between the Indian Railways and India Post is to work towards creating better supply chain ecosystem in the country and provide smooth logistics for the services sector. The Service was announced during the Budget 2023 by the Finance Minister as a measure to improve the first and last mile services.

The following services are offered under the initiative

  • Pickup from and delivery to the customer premises
  • Palletisation
  • Semi-Mechanised handling of cargo
  • Integrated parcel way bill
  • Time-tabled services

The Indian Postal department will be responsible for picking up and dropping off couriers from and to the consumer’s door step, while the Indian Railways will be responsible for the transport of the goods in a timetabled manner (goods will have pre-assigned time slots). Reportedly, the users are being offered freight rates at a 20% lesser amount than road transportation, thereby saving cost as well as time for the users.

Both Indian Railways and India Post have upgraded their infrastructure such as tools, machinery and handling equipment, and storage space for optimum use. Specially designed Fold type boxes, Envelope boxes, Mesh type boxes, and Bubble Guard boxes made up of aluminum and lightweight material, have been designed for the storage and movement of cargo on the trains.

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