Indian Railway

The on-demand parcel trains have come up as a viable alternative to the road trucks which are completely shut due to the coronavirus havoc. After the lockdown, these parcel trains have emerged as a lifeline for e-retailers like Amazon, Flipkart, Bigbasket etc who can book these parcel trains for transportation of their goods. Vinod Kumar Yadav, chairman of the Railway Board addressed the ET magazine and said that “We have introduced parcel trains with fixed timetables as a quick response to the lockdown. We are likely to continue some of those trains even after normalcy is restored”.

It all started with the spread of COVID19 due to which the Indian railways has suspended passenger trains and announced that the freight trains will run as usual carrying essential goods for the public to survive. On April 2nd, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had a conversation with the top executives and CEO of the e-commerce giants and discovered that their effective supply chain system has been badly affected by the lockdown. The e-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, Snapdeal, Grofers, Delhivery and more were also facing issues with their logistics and utilization of limited manpower. These e-commerce companies, after receiving a confirmation from Piyush Goyal on the solution to how to transport goods from parcel trains; took a sigh of relief. The railways has decided to start the on-demand parcel trains to facilitate e-commerce companies for interstate transportation of goods. However, entire India is waiting for trains to run on the track and continue its journey as if like never stopped before.

How to Transport Goods by Train?
To avail any service of Indian Railways, one has to follow certain rules and regulations prescribed by the railways. Whether it’s the question on how to transport goods in train or sending luggage through Indian Railways; everything is backed with a set of rules. Transporting goods by Indian railways is a cost-effective, safer and hassle free procedure. To transport any normal goods there’re rules like self-packing of the goods, filling the details of Transport Requisition Form having particulars of goods, their value, destination railway zone etc.

Indian Railway Parcel Booking during COVID-19!
The world is reeling with the disastrous effects of Coronavirus. E-commerce is one of the industries badly affected by the pandemic is looking for remedies to transport their goods/logistics to supply essentials in the country. Indian Railways acted as a survivor and came up with the solution to run on-demand parcel train for the e-commerce giants that would help them to deal with their supply and logistics issues. However, there is a definite process to cross before booking these trains for transporting goods. The concerned company’s representative has to contact the railway zonal officer for the same. If you have an answer on how to send parcel in train then we need to update ourselves as the process for commercial use of train is different from the normal transportation of household goods by train.

Search and Decide for the Railway Zone where you want to send your Parcel:
Business giants have to first identify the railway zone where they need to transport their goods. They have to identify the exact railway zones and the station where they need their goods to be parceled. Once the identification is completed, the process moves on by contacting the parcel railway officer of the concerned zone. The representative of the concerned company has to contact the officer and liaison with the department office.

Contact the Commercial officer of the Zone:
Along with the parcel officer, there’s a commercial department in every railway zone that handles the luggage and parcel transportation. Contact the department officer and convey him/her the requirement of sending parcels. This department will make you aware of the schedules of trains during COVID-19 lockdown.

Visit the Railway Station and Step to Parcel Office:
As per the schedule of trains, select dates as per the availability and convenience. Visit the railway station and contact the parcel office. Be present with the packed goods on the day of transportation. The uploading of goods in the parcel vans will be done by the workers of the railways.

Fill up the Particulars in the Forwarding Note:
Forwarding note is a special form approved by the Central Government. There’re four types of forwarding note:
Forwarding note for dangerous goods;
Forwarding note for animals or general merchandise other than dangerous goods;
Forwarding note for explosives tendered by Defence Services,
General Forwarding Note
Under Section 64 of the Railways Act: Every person entrusting any goods to a railway administration for carriage shall execute a forwarding note in such form as may be specified by the Central Government in which the consignor(e-commerce company) is responsible for every entry made in the forwarding note.

Pay the Fee at Parcel Office:
This is the last step where the consigner has to pay the entire fee to the rail parcel department. The parcel will transport the goods to the desired railway station.

Today, India is facing the ill-effects of coronavirus which has led the central government and state government to extend the lockdown till May 3rd. Indian Railways has decided not to run passenger trains as this is the only medicine to control and stop coronavirus infection. However, commercial services like freight trains and on-demand parcel trains will hit the tracks without any pause.

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Author: Rohit Choubey

Rohit is an avid guest blogger as well an eminent digital marketeer. He has immense passion towards food blogging. His hobbies include travelling, cooking and watching movies. He is the content analyst at RailRestro