September 20, 2021 6:47:26 pm
Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday virtually flagged off the dwarf container train service from Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), the biggest container port in India located off Mumbai.
With this, the first consignment of laden dwarf containers from Dwarf Container Depot (DCD) at the port was being moved by train to Inland Container Depot Kanpur.
Dwarf containers are 660 mm less in height compared to ISO containers, giving them a logistical edge. The low height of dwarf containers loaded on trailers allows them to pass through rural, semi-urban and urban roads, limited height subways and level crossings in electrified sections.
Dwarf containers also provide a 67 per cent increase in volume when double-stacked and can carry a weight of 71 tons, as against 40 tons by an ISO container. The Indian Railways has offered a 17 per cent discount on haulage cost compared to double stack ISO container trains, resulting in an overall 33 per cent discount to shippers, making Indian Railways competitive.
The rail movement of cargo through dwarf containers has the potential to lower export-import logistics costs. The port is also expected to gain steadily from the implementation of the dwarf container train services from JNPT.
Speaking at the inaugural event, Sonowal said, “The commencement of dwarf container train services from JNPT is a pivotal step towards streamlining rail movement of cargo via double-stacked dwarf containers. This will give the community a competitive cost advantage by lowering hinterland logistical costs, while simultaneously enhancing rail cargo traffic at JNPT. Dwarf containers are port-friendly and can be manufactured in India at a cost-efficient price point, thereby opening up opportunities for Make in India.”
A location within the JNPT container terminal has been identified for the establishment of Dwarf Container Depot, where cargo transfers from ISO containers to dwarf containers would be done, thereby making available empty ISO containers at the port for export repositioning.
Currently, there is a shortage of ISO containers for export, and this initiative will help bring down the turnaround time of containers from a month to a few days, as import-laden ISO containers need not go all the way to the hinterland.
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