| Code: 87364 |

TIN news:   The ban on movement of cargo on certain routes by the Railway Board, as part of ‘route rationalisation’, has proved to be the bane for cargo movement through Visakhapatnam.
According to the route rationalisation, freight trains from Visakhapatnam to Nagpur have to travel through Vijayawada and Ballarshah, instead of the shortest route via Raipur. This is a huge burden for exports and imports through Visakhapatnam Port. Though Visakhapatnam Port is closer to Nagpur than JNPT, exporters and importers are forced to move their cargo through the latter port due to the extra cost and time.
For cargo coming from South East Asia, Visakhapatnam is the convenient port of call.
Otherwise, the ships have to travel for at least three more days to reach the West Coast to unload their cargo.
It’s learnt that on an average 10 rakes are being supplied to Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) every day, which hardly matches the requirement. Further, the Raipur route is also not all that congested in view of the overall economic downturn and it needs to be restored for goods traffic.
“The longer route has turned out to be expensive for exporters and importers, and they are looking for alternative ports. We are also losing out on cargo to Nagpur and Delhi and have raised the issue with the Ministry of Railways for restoration of freight trains through Raipur. We hope that the matter would be sorted out soon,” VPT Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu told The Hindu .
Operational convenience
“The Railways have resorted to route rationalisation for their operational convenience. The calculation of freight movement costs has to be on the basis of the shortest available route as was done in the past,” says G. Sambasiva Rao, Managing Director of Sravan Shipping Services Private Limited.
The Waltair Division of East Coast Railway (E Co R) is also losing precious freight revenue. Attempts to reach senior Divisional officials on the phone proved futile.
“Ports are only transit points, and if cargo is not moved out quickly, then ports cannot unload more cargo. An efficient evacuation system and seamless connectivity to the hinterland from the port can substantially reduce the logistics cost for the trade and enhance their competitiveness,” said J. Lakshmana Rao of Sravan Shipping

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