Ecommerce companies may soon get to set up warehouses and pickup points at railway stations. Companies Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal would work on the spaces and buildings that come under railway authority.
A senior official of the Railway Board told media that railway ministry is working on a scheme to lease out its abandoned spaces near railway stations to etailers. Meanwhile, the non-fare revenue cell of the Board is in talks with the ecommerce companies in this regard.
The move is seen helping the railways become an end-to-end logistics provider and monetize its real estate, while also reducing the delivery time for ecommerce companies as their warehouses and pickup points are mostly on the periphery of big cities.
“We want to be end-to-end logistics providers. Presently, we see a huge gap in the market where ecommerce companies are unable to get spaces in the city because the cost is too high,” an official quote reported in ET.
We are offering them our abandoned building and other spaces to set up warehouses and pickup. At present, the railways leases out space to India Post only. The official further said that ecommerce companies that opt to use the railway network for transportation could get a good deal under the proposed arrangement.
For the railways, apart from monetisation of vacant land and building spaces, the move could boost its freight revenue, which has remained capped in recent years due to no growth in movement of core commodities.