Maruti Suzuki leverage rail logistics to transport 3.2 lakh vehicles in 2022

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Maruti Suzuki India Limited 2022 doubled its rail logistics volumes in a space of five years, transporting over 3.2 lakh vehicles through the national transporter.

In 2018, the company transported 1.4 lakh vehicles through railways.

This marks the substantial shift in automobile supply chains from roadways to railways — the company’s share of rail in outbound logistics has risen to 17.1 percent in the previous calendar year, which is over 4 percentage points higher than last year.

The volume transported through the mode is the highest-ever dispatched by Maruti Suzuki.

“Aligned with the Government of India’s aim to reach net zero emissions by 2070, we have enhanced our efforts to reduce carbon footprint in our business operations. Our strategy to increase the use of rail mode in outbound logistics has resulted in dispatching a record 3.2 lakh vehicles using railways in CY2022. This has resulted in offsetting around 1,800 MT of CO2 emissions.”

Hisashi Takeuchi, Managing Director & CEO, of Maruti Suzuki India Limited

Further, he added that the company has been able to save over 50 million liters of fuel during the year, aided by the modal shift in transportation.

As India aims to move to greener supply chains relying increasingly on railways and waterways instead of roads, Maruti Suzuki is at the forefront of the paradigm shift among automobile manufacturers.

Recognizing the importance of capturing the automobile freight segment over the last decade, the national transporter has stepped up its efforts to make the supply chain seamless for manufacturers. Currently, it is redesigning several automobile-carrying wagons to suit the needs of manufacturers better and capture the SUV segment.

The railways with the onset of dedicated freight corridors have also attempted to address the legacy issue of delayed deliveries due to the low speed of trains. Currently, the average speed of goods trains on the railway network is still a little over 18 kilometers per hour, which the railways aim to improve further.

The share of Maruti Suzuki’s automobiles transported through railways was a meager 5.1 percent in 2013 and has seen steady growth since.

“Going forward, we aim to further increase these numbers. For this, we are setting up dedicated railway sidings at our facilities in Haryana (Manesar) and Gujarat,” Takeuchi said.

As per officials, the national transporter’s Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) policy has provided significant impetus to these efforts. The policy allows, private parties to invest in automobile wagons for the transportation of their units.

The national transporter, under the national Rail Plan, is looking to increase its modal share in India’s cumulative logistics to 45 percent, from the current 27 percent. For this, the national transporter will not only need to augment its current volumes of existing commodities but also diversify its freight basket to a gamut of finished goods.

Commodities like coal and iron ore currently dominate the freight share of railways with over 60 percent contribution to total loading.