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APM Terminals Pipavav on a modal shift : Road to rail

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PIPAVAV : India’s first public-private port, APM Terminals Pipavav is making yet another first by connecting the West coast with North-West hinterland via Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), thus unlocking a new growth phase for itself.

Sample this: A rail siding for liquified petroleum gas (LPG) located within the Pipavav port can accommodate placement of full LPG rake carrying approximately 1,200 tonnes of LPG cargo. This is equivalent to 66 gas tankers on the road. Pipavav’s high-rise overhead electrified rail yard, connected to electrified DFC line, allows movement of LPG from West coast to North-West hinterland, meaning lesser traffic on roads and lesser pollution.


“The port provides its customers – Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation a safer and faster evacuation of LPG by rail, thereby reducing dependency on road movement,” said Jakob Friis Sorensen, Managing Director, APM Terminals Pipavav.

The company had recently loaded its 300th LPG rake since the start of operations in 2021. This works out to about 19,800 trucks on the road getting replaced by a faster mode of train movement.


Pipavav port falls under Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) covering a distance of 1504 km of double line electric track from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Maharashtra to Dadri in Uttar Pradesh

“The project envisaged to reduce operation costs, will also cut down transit time by half between the port and North-West hinterland via DFC, thereby offering safe, reliable, and cost-effective solutions to the customers. By switching to electrical loco, the port provides environment friendly, long haul, high-volume freight rail transportation and reduction of greenhouse gas emission. This is also expected to encourage a modal shift from road to rail towards sustainable development,” said Sorensen.

Key Driver

Notably, Pipavav Port located on Gujarat coast in Arabian sea has annual cargo handling capacity of 1.35 million TEUs of containers, 4 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of dry bulk, 2 MTPA of liquid cargo and 2,50,000 units of automobiles. It now looks at the DFC, being a key driver for its future growth.

Having suffered a loss of container business of around 60,000 TEUs in past few quarters, Pipavav port is witnessing the bulk cargo volumes including dry bulk, minerals and fertilizers as well as LPG, steadily returning to the pre-covid level. “We are confident that the port is geared up to handle any additional cargoes at the port that are estimated to be generated with the implementation of DFC,” said Sorensen.

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