Suresh Prabhu is likely to announce setting up of Logistics Corporation of India in the Railway Budget 2015-16 next month as a multimodal, one-stop solution for transporting goods from point of origin to point of consumption.
According to sources, the Corporation will enable the Railways to graduate from a bulk commodity carrier to a full logistics provider covering both rail and road to meet the doorstep-to-doorstep goods transport requirement of customers.
A senior Railways official said that the focus would be essentially on consumer durable goods such as washing machines, refrigerators, cars and two-wheelers.
These goods are currently transported by road and the Railways has been losing traffic to trucks over the years.
Railway minister Prabhu plans to win back part of this traffic and this would also help decongest roads and make them safer for commuters as the increasing number of heavy trucks is causing more accidents.
"The customer will not have to go to the railway station to collect his parcel as is the case at present. The Corporation will provide last-mile connectivity to deliver it at his doorstep," the official explained. Integrated logistics companies operate in the US and Europe, where trucks can be loaded on wagons and then loaded off on roads for the last mile link. Similar operations will be taken up in India once the
Corporation is set up. The logistics company would not only help save transport costs but also boost the manufacturing sector by enhancing freight carrying capacity.
Introduction of special Kisan Express trains for farmers is also likely to be announced in the Budget.