Railways To Lease Out Goods Sheds To Augment Revenue; Firms Like Amazon To Use Them As Warehouses

State-run Indian Railways, which is currently laying all its cards to raise more revenue is planning to lease out 50 of 300 goods sheds on a public-private partnership (PPP) that may be taken up by delivery majors like Amazon and Coca Cola to create mechanised workshops for their supply-chain systems, reports Mint.

According to Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani, the Railways is looking at modernising its goods sheds with private participation and three railway divisions – Dhanbad in Jharkhand, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Delhi are being considered in the first phase. Amazon and Coca Cola are among the several firms in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), delivery, and auto sector firms that are already eyeing the proposal favourably according to railway officials.

The three divisions will be empowered to take decisions on the matter as part of the pilot phase before the PPP scheme is rolled out to the rest of the 73 divisions.

Lack of proper freight handling capabilities near railway lines has seen an increase in logistics costs, currently at 14 per cent that is seen as unviable for exports, especially when compared to other nations such as China. Both the Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways are looking to bring down this factor to 8 per cent.

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