You can thank an initiative by Eastern Railway (ER) if the item you ordered online during a pre-Diwali sale arrives on schedule. For the first time ever, ER has tied up with an e-tail giant to ferry packages by EMU locals from Sealdah to Dankuni. The initiative was launched on Friday and the company has now assured ER of carrying a consignment size of seven tonnes per day.
“The company’s packages arrive in Kolkata by Rajdhani Express. Till recently, they used to be moved to the company’s hub at Dankuni by road. We decided to use our massive reach to carry this load. It will ensure quicker movement of a larger number of packages and passengers will not be affected. We are trying this out for three months on a pilot basis,” said Prabhas Dansana, divisional railway manager, Sealdah.
According to officials, this is the first such initiative in Indian Railways. The rate chargeable is that of luggage (highest scale) and ER will earn Rs 5,537 per day. It is a win-win situation for all as the company could not have moved this cargo so quick for this sum by road and ER is making use of capacity that already exists.
“The consignment is being carried in the vendor compartments, along with other items during non-peak hours (11am to 4pm). There will be no disruption or inconvenience. It has always been the aim of the railways to reduce the burden on road transport, both to cut down on costs and transit time. Movement by rail is also environment friendly. If this initiative is successful, we shall introduce such schemes along other routes, depending on the demand of e-commerce companies,” an official said.
The route from Sealdah to Dankuni was selected by the company to suit its need. ER has left it to other companies to select routes along its suburban network to connect Kolkata to the adjoining areas from where a large number of orders are now being placed.
The company has already tied up with Indian Railways to set up pick-up kiosks at four busy stations—Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Dadar, Thane and Kalyan—of Mumbai’s busy suburban network. Customers travelling via these stations can pick up packages from these kiosks without waiting for them to be delivered at home.
Source: Times of India