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Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has transported over 7.2 lakh vehicles using Indian railways. The company has achieved this impressive feat in the past five years. The company has shipped over 1.8 lakh units via the Indian Railways in 2020-21 alone.
In comparison, Maruti Suzuki shipped around 88,000 units back in 2016-17. According to the company, the increased focus on using railways has helped it to offset over 3,200 MT of CO2 emissions, cumulatively.
Currently, the automaker is using five loading terminals located in Gurgaon, Farukhnagar, Kathuwas, Patli and Detroj. The vehicles are being shipped to over 15 cities across India.
This includes Bangalore, Nagpur, Mumbai, Guwahati, Mundra Port, Indore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, NCR, Siliguri, Coimbatore, Pune, and Agartala. With the addition of Agartala, the transportation time is reduced by half to various States in East India.
Maruti Suzuki started its operations by using the railway wagons. These wagons were converted from old passenger coaches. It had a rake capacity to transport 125 cars. However, with growing volumes, the company shoon shifted to a high capacity dedicated wagons.
The new wagons were design and developed by the (RDSO) Research Design and Standard's Organization from Indian Railways. twin-deck rake that doubled the carrying capacity to 265 cars. Further enhancements to the wagons were made, which increased the rake capacity by 20 per cent.
These changes were based on inputs from Maruti Suzuki and other OEMs. This made the wagons more flexible to carry vehicles of varying dimension and also have the capability for faster speeds. The new wagons can now carry 318 cars and can be operated at speeds of 95/km per hour. These are the highest numbers for any goods train in India.
Maruti Suzuki is the first auto manufacturer in the country to obtain Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) license. This allows private firms to fabricate and operate high speed, high capacity auto-wagon rakes on the Indian Railway's network.
Explaining the objective of using railways for transporting vehicles, Mr Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director & CEO, Maruti Suzuki India said, "The transportation of finished vehicles via railways has many tangible benefits. It is a clean, environment-friendly mode of transportation. It reduces congestion on highways and there is more space available for other vehicles."
He further added, "Therefore, as a conscious effort at Maruti Suzuki, we have taken important steps to enhance vehicle transportation via railways. We thank the Ministry of Railways for their support, which helped to increase our volumes transported via rail. In the last five years, over 7.2 lakh vehicles have been dispatched via railways, nearly 1.8 lakh by far the highest in FY2021 alone."
Thoughts About The Maruti Suzuki Railway Transportation Milestone Mark Achieved
Railway transportation is relatively cheaper than shipping vehicles by road. This also means that companies can ship more units in one consignment. This also increases the operations costing and efficiency. Maruti Suzuki has done just that and managed to save a ton of polluting CO2 emission as well.