APM Terminals Pipavav, Maersk, and PRCL partner for Block Train Service


For the first time, APM Terminals Pipavav, Maersk and Pipavav Rail Corporation Ltd (PRCL) have joined forces to provide a customised block train service for a single consignee – Tinna Rubber and Infrastructure. The new service will operate via the fast, secure and more sustainable Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC).

The first 48-wagon rake of specialist Spine Cars arrived at APM Terminals Pipavav in April 2023. A new concept for India, spine Cars, also known as BLSS wagons, are 25T axle load flat cars designed to transport all types of containers for greater flexibility. They use a sturdy and lighter frame which increases a rake’s carrying capacity by 7.4%, making it more commercially advantageous.

“The successful implementation of India’s first import dedicated and customised 48-wagon rake is a testament to the strategic collaboration between Maersk, APM Terminals Pipavav, PRCL, and J M Baxi Ports & Logistics,” commented Mr Girish Aggarwal, MD, APM Terminals Pipavav. “Through our collective efforts, we were able to provide an integrated and sustainable supply chain solution that not only saves time and cost for the end customer but also contributes to our shared goal of decarbonising logistics.”

Rail out by Bill of Lading

Rail transportation is widely recognised as an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to road transport. APM Terminals Pipavav offers several services to support the growth of rail, including rail out of import containers under the same bill of lading. This means containers are discharged and stacked for railing out together on the same rake.

“This initiative clearly indicates our commitment to driving innovation and promoting environmentally friendly solutions in the logistics industry,” said Mr Girish Aggarwal. “We look forward to continuing our strategic partnerships to facilitate trade and create value for our customers.”

For this new service, APM Terminals Pipavav provides rail infrastructure and connectivity from the port to Sonepat via the new Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), while Maersk offers a complete solution from ocean to last-mile delivery, including Customs House Brokerage (CHB) services.

Environmentally friendly solution

With existing – future-proof – infrastructure, APM Terminals Pipavav was the first Port in India to connect to the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor. A 269km broad gauge railway line connects the port directly to the new Western DFC in two locations: Mehsana and Ahmedabad.

The DFC is dedicated to transporting freight at higher speed with increased load-carrying capacity, up to 6.2 million TEUs in total, reducing operating costs in India for rail freight significantly – making it a game changer for businesses and economies in India. With electric trains (between Pipavav and Jodhpur), the DFC is expected to contribute to saving 457 million tonnes of emissions in 30 years.

The DFC can also help in reducing detention & demurrage costs for customers who import & export high volumes. For example, customers may no longer need to clear all import boxes at the port – instead, they can use the DFC’s fast rail connection to clear the boxes at an ICD and then return the box within the stipulated free time.

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Ryan Finn
Ryan is the Digital Marketing and Content Creation Manager for Trade and Logistics Siam Ltd. He provides a creative flair to the team and his resourcefulness helps to bring an imaginative improvement to both literary archetypes and online content production. A writer by day and a rider by night, when he's not composing the latest logistics news update or creating compelling copy for our clients, Ryan spends his free time travelling Thailand by motorbike.