Railways rope in Amazon for levelling up its parcel service

Indian railways have roped in Amazon India, an e-commerce giant, to transport its goods by trains attracting the ire of railway unions in the process. What railways see as a boost to its business the railway unions see as a snatching away of their livelihood.

In a letter issued earlier this month, the railway board directed the zonal railways to allot space in trains to the Amazon. According to the letter, as a pilot project, the railways will give space to Amazon in two of its premium trains that are the Sealdah Rajdhani and the Mumbai Rajdhani for a period of one month.

Provision for extension of the project for two months has been made depending on the feedback received on the project. The zonal railways have been asked to allocate a cargo space of 2.5 tons in the parcel coach of the trains for Amazon’s cargo. The remaining space of 1.5 tons will be for railways utility.

Amazon will pay freight charges equivalent to the highest lease rate on the same train on pro-rata basis. Apart from this one-month advance freight charge will also be paid by the Amazon to the railways.

The railway employee unions are against the decision and have announced two-day strike on July 31 and August 1 against the decision of railway board, the apex body of Indian railways.

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