The transport giant of the nation is counted among the fourth largest employer of the world. As the COVID-19 continues to spread in India, it’s the Indian Railways which has actively participated and converted its 20000 coaches into hospitals for suspected coronavirus patients. Also, during the lockdown period, it has announced the regular supply of essential commodities through goods train and successfully maintained the availability of basic survival needs. However, passengers are waiting for the situation to become normal and expecting the train service to start soon after the 21 days lockdown period.
According to a report published in ET, the railway ministry has specified that the special parcel service will now be available for the e-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, Snapdeal, Grofers, Delhivery and more. Piyush Goyal in a meeting with top executives and CEO of the online retailing companies discussed the matter and found that the companies are facing issues in their supply chain process. These e-commerce companies are also ensuring regular supplies of grocery and other products amid lockdown. However, when the goods train had continued to deliver essentials, the supply chain system for these online delivery giants were resolved to some extent. The companies in the meeting expressed their issues related to manpower availability and the biggest challenge regarding the optimum use of manpower resources. Also, there was a virtual discussion of Piyush Goyal with the stakeholders of these companies. He further tweeted “We are committed to ensuring that essential goods reach the people in the most convenient and safest manner.”
On-Demand Parcel Trains:
For an efficient supply of goods and services by the e-commerce companies, Indian Railways will run on-demand parcel trains to transport necessary goods to other cities on a national level. These trains will especially run on demand by the companies facing issues with their logistics and supply chain. These special trains will ensure and solve the issues from the business perspective of these giants and it will be a big relief to the online consumers throughout India who are dependent on online shopping for their weekly/monthly needs.
The Alternative provided to e-commerce Companies- Road Transport
With the supply chain is being affected by the 21 days Lockdown period, the supply for farm produce, medicines and grocery was impacted heavily. As an alternative to Rail transport, Piyush Goyal is also planning to offer a viable option to ecommerce and logistics players which include road transportation. Also, to reap commercial viability, Indian Railways discussed with Flipkart to lease out land parcels in two-tier cities to generate revenue from barren lands.
Companies have to Contact Railways on Zonal level:
E-commerce companies are directed to contact their respective zonal railways and related authorities for further discussion on how to avail the facility of Parcel trains to speed up their business.