NYK Line’s Indian arm has signed a 50:50 joint venture agreement with India’s state-owned Container Corp (Concor) to handle vehicle movements by rail.
The company will initially move vehicles owned by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai on a leg between Delhi and Chennai in dedicated freight wagons. It will also invest in road-based connections for either end of the initial rail route as well as providing stockyard management.
The joint venture is said to be keeping its options open with regard to the design of wagon that will be used, but is currently focusing on developing a frame that can be fitted in a container to facilitate the carrying of a maximum number of cars.
Concor, a subsidiary of Indian Railways, is the largest inter-modal logistics provider in the country, with a network of nearly 60 inland depots.
In late 2005, it signed a memorandum of understanding with NYK to carry out a feasibility study on vehicle transports using special rail wagons but the proposed project was halted by the high haulage prices charged by India Railways for the movements.
Cost, dimension and network constraints have traditionally challenged the wide-scale introduction of rail as a solution to vehicle movements in India, but the new joint venture between NYK Line and Concor is the latest in a number of initiatives designed to overcome those constraints (read more here).
At present, only Adani Logistics transports cars in container trains between Patli (in Haryana) and Mundra port. The company uses containers designed and made by Kar-trainer that accommodate five small (Maruti Suzuki 800 model) cars in each 40ft container. Each rake can carry 45 containers, thus allowing 225 cars to be transported in a rake.