Private firms express renewed interest in operating cargo terminals along DFCs


The much-hailed Dedicated Freight Corridor(DFC) project has given India’s railway network many reasons to smile. As it now opens requests for Private freight Terminals to allow private firms to build and operate cargo terminals, it is time for the private sector to revel in the opportunities coming its way.

The private sector has glistened well in the past year, amid the toil and grind of the pandemic.

Now, with the coming of the DFCs, private firms are now on the lookout to expanding their presence into the railway network of the country. Many private firms have bid for the contract to build and operate private cargo terminals along the upcoming Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC).

Requests for Proposal for Private Freight Terminals on the DFC were opened yesterday after 25 companies, including all major players in the logistics sector had participated in the pre-bid meeting for the tender.

Leading private firms like Adani Logistics, CONCOR, DP World, JM Baxi, PSA International, TVS Logistics, Gateway Rail Freight are reported to have taken part in the two pre-bid meetings.

As per sources, the locations of the proposed Cargo terminals include Dharuhera in Haryana; Phulera, and Kishangarh in Rajasthan; Dadri and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh; Palghar in Maharashtra; Sanjali in Gujarat; and Chawapel in Punjab.

As per the terms, the private company will be given the contract for around 30 years to handle freight loading and unloading for the DFC. In the first 10 years, the winning company will have exclusive rights to handle cargo at the station after which it will be opened to other users as well.

Currently, 657 km of DFC section has already been opened and more than 1,000 trains have been run on this section.

In the first phase, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC) is constructing the Western DFC (1504 Route km) and Eastern DFC (1856 route km including PPP section of Sonnagar-Dankuni Section).

The EDFC starting from Sahnewal near Ludhiana (Punjab) will pass through the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, to terminate at Dankuni in West Bengal.

The Western Corridor connecting Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai will pass through the states of UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra of WDFC and EDFC (excluding the Sonnagar – Dankuni PPP section) — a 2800 Km route — will be commissioned by June 2022.

Recently, Gateway Rail, a subsidiary of Gateway Distriparks Limited, undertook the operations of two double-stacked trains in a python configuration on the Indian Railways’ Western DFC.

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