Indian Railway encourages Ease of Doing Business

The Indian Railways launched a Freight Business Development Portal centred around customer needs, aiming to decrease logistics cost, and provides a significant boost to Ease of Doing Business in India.

January 6, 2021

On 5th January,2021 Railway Minister Shri Piyush Goyal launched the FBD Portal to boost ease of doing business in India

The Freight Business Development Portal is a one stop single window solutions for all freight needs of the customer

In December 2020, freight loading was 118.13mn tonnes (8.54% higher than the previous year’s during the same period)

In December 2020, freight earnings were US$ 1.6 billion (6.87% higher than the previous year’s during the same period)

Indian Railways forms the backbone of the country’s logistics sector. The past year saw economies across the globe at a standstill due to the pandemic COVID-19. Whilst all activities were under lockdown the Indian railways was providing round-the-clock services in Freight transportation across the country and achieved the highest ever loading in the last 4 months of 2020. Indian Railways incorporated a ‘Freight on Priority Policy’ facilitating a customer-centric approach to expand freight traffic. In line with PM Modi’s ‘Digital India Mission’, this portal will not only improve the ease of freight operations but will also reduce the costs.

Aiming for the same, Minister for Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal, launched the Indian Railways ‘Freight Business Development Portal’. This portal highlights the paradigm shift, ensuring all operations stay customer centric, reduces the costs for logistics, provides an online tracking facility for suppliers and also simplifies the process for goods transportation. The Freight Business Development Portal (FBDP) is a one-stop-Single Window solution for all the needs of Freight customers. This new portal will be a game changer in ensuring ease of doing business with railways and aims to bring more transparency and professional support to the system.

Distinguishing Features of the FBDP 

  • The Freight Business Development Portal introduces freight business to all new customers and provides them with various benefits, guides them to choose the most suitable terminal. Any new customer can register on this portal and place a demand for the correct wagon most conveniently.
  • For existing customers, the portal provides the best personalised services including vital information that plays a key role in their business development and expansions.
  • The “Commodity” page of the portal provides the facility of choosing from the plethora of commodities transported by Railways, like coal, minerals & ores, food grains, flour & pulses, cement & clinker, chemical manure, iron & steel, petroleum products, container services, automobile and more. Accordingly, the customer can find the most suitable terminal, wagon, freight charges, expected transit time and incentive scheme etc, which will provide a variety of incentive schemes to facilitate the logistics requirements and flexibility of two-point loadings/unloading.
  • The “Tools & Services” page gives access to various tools for planning the most favourable freight transportation with Indian Railways, like slab rates, tracking facility and time-tabled movements.
  • All partnerships in Indian Railways will be able to join the railway network through investments in private sidings, private freight terminals or railways owned goods shed. Various aggregators, truckers, warehouse owners and labour providers will also be able to offer their services to more than 9000 freight customers at over 4000 freight terminals.

Freight loading and earnings in December 2020 crossed the previous year’s values for the same period

The Indian Railways through this portal will be able to provide professional support to all its customers. 

Scenario of Freight and Logistics Sector in India

Despite the pandemic induced lockdown, freight figures have maintained their value in terms of earnings and loadings for the month of December 2020, which crossed last year’s loading and earnings for the same period.  In the month of December 2020, Indian Railways loading was 118.13 million tonnes which is 8.54% higher compared to last year’s loading for the same period (108.84 million tonnes). In this period Indian Railways earned US$ 1.6 billion from freight loading which is also 6.87% higher when compared to last year’s earnings for the same period (US$ 1.5 billion).

Other Initiatives

Indian Railways has taken a series of steps to boost Freight loading like setting up of Business Development Units (BDUs) at Railway Board, Zonal Railway and Divisional levels. The BDUs have attracted new business from customers completely new to using rail for cargo. Also, many concessions are being given by Indian Railways to make railways freight movement very attractive.

In an additional move The Ministry of Railways, has launched the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project. The project involves the construction of six freight corridors across the country, aiming to provide a safe and efficient freight transportation system. The other four corridors include North-South (Delhi-Tamil Nadu), East-West (West Bengal-Maharashtra), East-South (West Bengal-Andhra Pradesh) and South-South (Tamil Nadu-Goa), which are still in their nascent stage.

To Conclude

The Indian Railways connects the length and breadth of a country as vast as India, and during this pandemic it has shown extreme resilience and resolve in delivering the essential supplies to the nation in most challenging times and keep national supply chains running. This new portal will be a game-changer in ensuring Ease of Doing Business with the railways. 

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