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Indian rail freight peak-season levy set to return next month

Exporters and importers from the Indian hinterland, have a new cost burden coming up: Indian Railways has announced the reintroduction of a 15% peak season surcharge it typically applies from October through June.

The public transporter suspended this levy in 2019 in order to lift sagging loads in the wake of an economic downturn. Indian Railways hopes to acquire additional revenues of approximately US$430 million from this levy.

Indian freight volumes have bounced back strongly from the past economic setbacks and widespread disruptions caused by Covid lockdowns during 2020-21, allowing the railway authority to adjust pricing dynamically.

The scale of tariff concessions for empties, which had been revised downwards from 25% to 15% in April this year, is now at 10% until the end of October. Haulage charges are the fees collected by Indian Railways from container rail companies for the use of its countrywide infrastructure network.

Train loads out of inland container depots (ICDs) in North India constitute a major portion of container volumes moving via the ports of Nhava Sheva (JNPT) and Mundra, especially at the latter gateway because of its closer proximity to the northern interior.


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