KOCHI: Southern Railway Chief Commercial Manager Sarla Balagopal has flagged off the first Parcel Cargo Express Train service from the state at Chalakkudy Railway station on Wednesday. She said that even though the service is weekly it is likely to be extended to two to three trips a week. Of the 21 parcel vans, seven are loaded from Chalakkudy with spices and rubber products. The other loading points are Salem and Whitefield, near Bangalore, Tughlakabad in New Delhi and the final halt of the train will be at Moga in Punjab. It is the longest distance service from Kerala covering 3,000 km connecting North India. The Cargo Express will reach Moga in 96 hours, said K U Thankachen, managing director, Central Railside Warehouse Company (CRWC). The service is handled by CRWC with AVG Logistics Pvt Ltd as Business Associate.
“The Parcel Cargo Express will start from Chalakkudy every Wednesday. The return trip from Moga will commence on Thursday. Southern Railway has dedicated two trains exclusively for the service. This service will be of immense help to farmers and other producers in the state. Compared to road movement this service is 30 to 40 per cent cheaper. We expect that more customers from the state would come forward to avail of this service. Last year, the Railways had carried 100 cr tonnes of cargo worth Rs 1 lakh crore. The revenue form parcel service was Rs 1,500 crore,” Thankachen said. He said the CRWC has 18 warehouses in the country and plans to add four more in the near future.
In the recent Railway Budget 10 more warehouses were allotted, he said.
Sudiptapal, General Manager-Finance, CRWC, said that projects are in the pipeline to set up cold storage chains by the company.
The new service will facilitate the movement of agricultural and industrial products from Kerala to Delhi, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Rajasthan and Western UP.
AVG Logistics will actively involve in cargo consolidation, loading and unloading of the train by providing door-to-door service to customers, virtually covering the ‘cargo movement network’ from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The train service will cater to the needs of the industry and trade sectors for transporting products at competitive costs.