AHMEDABAD : Shippers using Mundra and Pipavav, India’s two dominant privately-operated container ports, now have more opportunities to convert truck freight to the rails with Container Corporation of India (Concor) adding a string of intermodal train services connecting these ports to the hinterland.
Starting Aug. 1, three time-definite train runs a week will be introduced between Mundra and the Jakhwada Inland Container Depot, near Ahmedabad in Gujarat State, and two similar services per week will be rolled out between Pipavav and the Jakhwada ICD, according to a Concor trade notice.
The State-owned intermodal giant said the new services would provide “an economical and speedier option to the trade of Ahmedabad and nearby hinterlands.”
The planned services are in addition to regular train operations Concor already has from Mundra and Pipavav to the Khodiyar ICD, about 125 miles from Ahmedabad. The Mundra-Khodiyar route has also been upgraded with a daily faster service, offering an average transit time of 15 hours.
With those improvements, Concor is now in a position to transport freight from Jakhwada or Khodiyar to Mundra and Pipavav on a daily basis, the statement said.
The rail expansion comes as Government pushes all port authorities to drive up rail volumes as part of a larger Ease-of-Doing-Business program to ease pressure on strained road networks and shore up supply chain productivity.
To that end, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), the Country's busiest public container handler, has made some progress, with its share of railed freight during June increasing to 15 percent, for the first time in recent months, from 13.8 percent in the prior month.
Concor previously has also set up time-guaranteed services connecting the Chennai Port to Bangalore and Dadri ICDs. In addition, it has double-stack train services connecting Pipavav with Northern hinterland points.
Mundra and Pipavav primarily rely on Northwestern hinterlands for capacity utilization and growth, with the former commanding the larger share of those markets. With new capacity building and rail upgrades, including the recent opening of a Multimodal Logistics Park at Kilaraipur, near Ludhiana, Mundra’s share of that region could steadily climb in the coming months.