The transfer of raw materials such as yarn, fabric, and items from India's textile and garment firms in Ludhiana can now be exported straight via train to Bangladesh under a new initiative by Indian railways.
Indian Railways' Ambala division launched the facility through a partnership with MGH Group, reports The Times of India.
On Sunday, a special parcel train full of cotton yarn was loaded to send over India's boundaries to Benapole in Bangladesh from Ambala Cantt station for the first time.
This train, comprising 20 package vans, left Ambala of Haryana, India on Monday in the presence of senior railway authorities.
Customers opting for this service will obtain an end-to-end transportation solution that includes exporting yarn, fabrics, and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) from their respective factories in Ludhiana and Baddi to their buyers' factories in Bangladesh, as well as customs clearance on both sides of the border, according to the Railways.
Some of the potential customers from Ludhiana include Aarti International, Cedaar Textiles, Garg Acrylic, Nahar Spinning & Vardhman Textiles.
Speaking on the occasion, Senior DCM, Vivek Sharma said, "Earlier, the businessmen in and around Punjab & Haryana were transporting commodities like yarn, fabrics & goods by road to Bangladesh in small quantities and at very high freight cost."
"During the lockdown period, they were unable to transport these by road and it was then Railway staff and Officials approached the consignors and explained to them about the facilities to transport by rail," said Sharma.
"Accordingly, they have moved the cotton yarn by rail in bulk through goods trains, but for moving the consignment by Goods trains, it is mandatory for the farmers and merchants to mobilise the quantity in bulk," further said Sharma.
Sharma also added, "To mitigate this problem and to facilitate the Rail users to move their quantities in smalls like up to a maximum of 500 tonnes in each trip, Ambala Division of Northern Railway took the initiative and started the Special Parcel train to Bangladesh."
"This has helped the merchants to market their products beyond the country border by transporting the Cotton Yarn in small quantities through Special Parcel train. Accordingly, one special parcel train consisting of 20 parcel vans moved to Benapole in Bangladesh."
"Each VPU was loaded with 430 cartons, weighing around 23 tonnes and the total weight carried by the special parcel express is around 468 tonnes. The cost per tonne for carrying by Special Parcel train is Rs 5,491 and which is very cheap and economical as compared to Road transport which is much higher. This will be the first of its like traffic from Northern Railway catering the yarn industry of Northern India & earned the freight of Rs 25,69,630."
According to Sunil Tangri, commercial head of Vardhman Textiles, Ludhiana, "The train service to Benapole will help the whole textile industry in this region to commit to stringent delivery schedule and that in turn will increase India's exports and boost economic trade between two neighboring countries."
Other officials who were present on the flagging off ceremony of the train included Dr Ritika Vashisht, DCM-I Ambala, Dr Kanishka, DCM-II Ambala, Himanshu Pant, director & CEO of MGH India.