New Delhi: Indian Railways and India Posts have formally launched Rail Post Gati Shakti Express Cargo Service—a joint parcel product (JPP) of railways and India post—to provide seamless logistics for the services sector in the country.
This is in compliance with the Union budget announcement in the 2022-23 financial year. To begin with, the service has been started on the four sectors -Delhi to Kolkata; Bangalore to Guwahati, Surat to Muzaffarpur and Hyderabad to Hazrat Nizamuddin. However, total 15 sectors have been planned to be covered in the first phase.
The highlights of this service are total logistic service, from pick-up and delivery at customer premises, palletization -transportation through covered and sealed boxes, semi-mechanized handling, time-bound service, insurance at 0.05% of the declared value of the cargo for loss, damage and deterioration, integrated parcel way bill.
Officials of the Indian Railway said that joint marketing tams between posts and railways have been made to take this initiative forward. Doing away with the slab system of pricing is an innovation herein.
Railways and department of posts have collectively upgraded their tools, machinery and handling equipment, storage space for optimum use. Specially designed fold type box, envelope box, mesh type box, bubble guard box made up of aluminium and light weight material have been developed. Similarly, parcel aggregation centres have been equipped with conveyor system along with specially designed rakes for efficient stacking. BTU deck where palatized material can be easily rolled are provided for effortless movement.
Salient features for customers:
Door step pick-up and delivery: India Post will pick up the consignment at the doorstep of the customer and transport to the railway station (first mile activity) and at the destination railway station. The postal department personnel will transport the consignment from the station to the destination address and deliver the consignment at the doorstep of the addressee (last mile activity).
Flexibility of quantum of load: There is no fixed obligation of loading as party can book small load of 100 kg also.
Time tabled service: Parcel train operated under JPP scheme is a time tabled train with scheduled departure and arrival of train at originating, intermediate and destination stations.
Safe transmission: Indian railways will provide intermediate transmission between origin and destination railway stations (middle mile activity), in secured sealed boxes, ensuring safe and secured passage through time tabled trains.
Insurance: Postal department offers third party insurance facility at an affordable rate of 0.03% of cargo value to the customers availing JPP service.
Affordable tariff: First mile and last service charges at ₹6 per kg gives competitive and cost effective solution to the customers in comparison to existing road rates.
Single point of contact: India post will be the single point of contact for the customer for the despatch of consignment from pick up till delivery.
Mobile application: A mobile app is being developed where customers availing JPP service can book the consignment with online payment facility and also can track the status of consignment with live tracking facility.
A pilot weekly service was launched on March 31, 2022 from Surat to Varanasi by attaching a VPU to Tapti Ganga Express. After the budget announcement in 2022-23, proof of concept has been conducted on the textile segment from Surat and today after conducting 99 trials on single Parcel Van mode and 16 trials on full train load mode, Railways have decided to launch this combined initiative across the network.