India carmaker Maruti Suzuki which has been using railway’s service for the past six years to move finished vehicles around the country highlights its environmental benefits and the company’s greener approach.
According to a statement released by the automobile manufacturer last week, more than 670,000 vehicles have been transported since it adopted rail as a mode for finished vehicle transport in March 2014. And, in doing so the carmaker revealed it has helped them save 3 billion tonnes in CO2 emissions, as well as 100 million litres of fuel by avoiding 100,000 truck trips.
India which has been choosing road transportation over the other modes is currently looking forward to promoting the use of rail. Currently, only 7% of vehicle distribution in India happens via rail. That compares with 40% rail penetration in Europe and close to 75% in the US.
The Indian government eyes on increasing the use of rail by the automotive sector by the middle of the next decade and thus wants the private sector to provide the means through its Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) scheme.
Maruti Suzuki said it was the first carmaker in the country to obtain the AFTO licence enabling to operate high speed, high capacity finished vehicle carrying wagon rakes on Indian Railway’s network.
In the last financial year, the carmaker said it had increased the number of vehicles transported by rail by 15% to 178,000, accounting for 12% of the vehicles sold. The company utilises five loading terminals and 13 destination terminals, and its extension of services to the Northeast has helped to reduce transport times to the region by almost a half.
“Considering the increasing volumes, our team felt the need for large scale logistics flow. We realised, that not only for expansion but also for risk mitigation, we have to look beyond road mode logistics,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and CEO of Maruti Suzuki India.
APL Logistics and Vascor Automotive, as a joint venture, started off as rail provider catering to the demand for more finished vehicle rail services in 2014. The joint venture now accounts for 70% of finished vehicle rail movement in India, with customers representing over 80% of the vehicle-makers in the country.
Source: Automotive Logistics