In the direction of customer friendly initiatives, Indian Railways has introduced advance booking facility of Parcel space in Luggage Rooms (SLRs) available on Passenger carrying trains and Parcel Vans (VPs) attached to the regular trains (non-indented) and also in time tabled parcel trains. The advance booking of space in SLRs and VPs shall be permitted 120 days in advance, subject to payment of 10% of the total freight by the customer at the time of booking. The Balance payment (90%) of the freight has to be paid at least 72 hours before the scheduled departure of the train for which the advance booking has been made. If the customer has failed to pay the balance amount as stipulated above i.e., at least 72 hours before the scheduled departure of the train, the advance booking will be cancelled and advance freight will be forfeited.
There have been repeated requests from the parcel customers for introduction advance booking facility of parcel space so as to plan their logistics in a better way which will also generate additional traffic to Railways. Accordingly, now Railway Board has permitted Zonal Railways to allow advance booking facility of parcel space in SLRs, VPs attached to passenger carrying trains and time tabled parcel trains.
The existing facility of advance indenting of parcel vans, to be attached to passenger-carrying trains and time tabled Parcel Special trains, shall also be permitted 120 days in advance on payment of prescribed Wagon Demand Registration Fee as per extant rules.
In case the customer wishes to cancel the booking, such cancellation should be done atleast 72 hours before the scheduled departure of the train for which advance booking has been made. In such case, 50% of the advanced freight shall be refunded. However, there shall be no refund if the cancellation is done after the deadline of 72 hours before the scheduled departure of the train. In case of inability of Railway Administration to provide parcel space in the train on account of cancellation of train or any other reason, full advance freight shall be refunded to the customer.
Shri Gajanan Mallya, General Manager, SCR stated that this facility immensely helps the traders, cargo aggregators and farmers, especially those who are handling small quantities for transporting their consignments in a safe, secure, economical and fastest mode as per the planned schedule. He also appealed to rail customers to optimally utilize the advance booking system to plan their transportation needs and logistics as per their convenience.