Domestic Facilities & Service
Indian Railway's strategic initiative to containerize cargo transport put India on the multi-modal map for the first time when the Indian Railways entered the market for moving door-to-door domestic cargo in special Indian Railway Specification (IRS) containers starting in 1966.
Though CONCOR was incorporated in March 1988, it embarked on the transportation of domestic cargo only in 1991, using ISO standard containers for the job. Between 1993 and 1996, there was a major thrust in the domestic business, so much so that domestic business represented almost half of CONCOR's total business in 1995-96. This business however was dependent on large scale chassis-to-chassis movement of cement, which had come CONCOR's way due to shortage of conventional rail wagons.
By 1997, it became clear that while there was a vast potential of domestic traffic to be tapped, this could only be done by focussing the strategy on the movement of goods that were erstwhile moving on road, and not on bulk, rail based traffic. A separate Domestic Division was therefore created in December 1997.
The objective of the division is to bring back to rail, goods which are now being transported by road. The division aims to do this by containerizing piecemeal cargo and offering a comprehensive door to door intermodal service. 'Client-focussed' customized services are the backbone of this segment. Each service is tailor-made to suit the specific requirements of the client concerned.
The domestic division functions through a network of terminal/hubs. There are at present 22 exclusively domestic terminals, but as many as 36 of the other terminals on the CONCOR terminal map also offer domestic services, in addition to this CONCOR is also providing services from CRTs and Private Sidings. As a matter of policy, most of the new terminals being introduced are now being planned as combined domestic/international terminals. The latest network of CONCOR's terminal list is also available on CONCOR's website.
The main asset in which domestic cargo is carried is the standard 20ft container. CONCOR's fleet of TEUs in domestic service is currently at approximately 20000 TEUS. Of these, mostly are owned and some are brought in on short or long term lease depending on the demand requirements. Besides leasing, CONCOR also uses conventional ISO (international) containers by offering special Cabotage rates for empty movements. In this practice, containers that would otherwise move as empty are 'borrowed'/leased on an extreme short term basis (usually for a single trip) for domestic cargo movement, thereby increasing the carrying capacity for domestic cargo as a whole. Extensive movement of shipping-line empty containers is undertaken by CONCOR to balance the differential levels of exports and imports in the country today. By "Cabotaging" these containers, CONCOR can offer a substantial discount to both shipping lines and the potential domestic client.
There are also different types of specialty containers such as Open Top, Side Doors, Tanks, Ventilated, Reefer and 22ft/high cube containers to cater to special types of cargo like bulk, perishable, fruits & vegetables etc.
The thrust of domestic operations is to run a series of point to point scheduled trains. These 'CONTRACK' services form the spokes in a wider hub-spoke strategy whereby cargo is consolidated through road or even rail, at major hub terminals from where such CONTRACK services operate.
CONCOR's business strategy for its domestic business growth can be summed up as under:-
- CONCOR plans to become more flexible in the pricing of services. Road hauliers have strong leverage in varying their prices to suit fast changing market conditions. While CONCOR cannot match the road hauliers' flexibility in pricing, but the company can leverage its own strengths of being a rail service provider, as also a terminal/warehouse operator such that it has door service capability. It can also offer discounts on volumes, customer profile, cargo characteristics, container availability, empty flow patterns etc.
- We also plan to reduce our empty return radio (ERR), in order to reduce the amount of unproductive haulage, and offer more competitive prices.
- Need has been felt not only for customization of services, but also for the assets in service. Containers, terminals, warehouses, wagons etc. are designed to customer requirements and new fleet of containers and wagons are added time to time.
- Over the past few years Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR) has been offering freight forwarders in India an opportunity to safely and speedily transport their cargo between major centres of production and consumption. CONCOR offers growth opportunity, in the form of 'Business Associates', to reputed freight forwarders/transport companies, with National/Regional network to integrate their services with CONCOR to be more competitive in a globalized economy. For which CONCOR has a Business Associate (BA) Policy. In order to enhance Business Opportunities/ market share and to develop new streams of traffic; CONCOR has revised its existing Business Associate Policy which is available on our website.