Dun & Bradstreet and Jupiter Wagons Unveil the Indian Railway Freight Activity (IRFA) Index

A Groundbreaking Tool to Monitor Indian Railway Freight Activity

MUMBAI, India, Jan. 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Dun & Bradstreet, a global leader of business decisioning data and analytics, in collaboration with Jupiter Wagons, introduces the Indian Railway Freight Activity (IRFA) Index, a pioneering initiative aimed at providing a comprehensive and data-driven assessment of the dynamics of Indian Railway freight activity. The index, launched amid the government’s efforts to enhance railway freight modal share, amalgamates factual data from the Ministry of Railways with survey responses from railway freight users.

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A quarterly report, the IRFA index comprises two vital sub-indices – the activity sub-index, based on data released by the Indian Railways, and the experience sub-index, derived from a survey of railway freight users for the current quarter. The survey also measures the optimism level of railway freight users for the forthcoming quarter. This unique approach ensures a holistic evaluation, combining quantitative data with qualitative feedback from users, making it a first-of-its-kind tool to monitor and understand the intricacies of Indian railway freight activity. The index value ranges from 0-100, where 50 is the neutral level of railway freight activity on a year-on-year basis.

Key Findings:

  • At 48, the Indian Railway Freight Activity (IRFA) index for Q3 2023 indicates a sub-neutral level of rail freight activity compared with the same quarter last year.
  • Companies are more optimistic towards railway freight activity in Q4 2023, with the Optimism Index at 60, compared with the Experience Index at 56, which indicates the railway freight activity for the current quarter (Q3 2023).
  • Railway freight users anticipate higher demand for containers (Optimism Index at 68) and cargo handling machinery (optimism index at 61).
  • Only 16% respondents transport more than 50% of their freight through railways, whereas 53% respondents transport more than 50% of their freight through roads.
  • Users of Central and Northern Railways are most optimistic for rail freight activity in Q4 2024 compared to the other three regions.
  • The capital goods sector is the most optimistic for increased rail freight activity, which is highest amongst the 14 sectors, indicating traction in investment activity.
  • 75% respondents rate railway freight operations as efficient.
  • Cost effectiveness, ranked higher than speed and reliability, will emerge as the primary demand driver for railway freight.
  • While connectivity is not a constraint, network congestion and damage/loss of goods are significant constraints in transporting freight through railways.

Arun Singh, Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet, said, “The IRFA Index report, which captures the current experience and the future optimism level of the railway freight users, will provide crucial insights on Indian railway freight activity to policymakers and stakeholders. The high optimism for Q4 2023, compared with a year ago, indicates enhanced rail freight activity and improved user experiences. While nearly half of the respondents indicated that railways plays a critical role in their transport strategy, only 16% transport a majority of their freight through railways, highlighting unmet demand and indicating the potential for increased railway freight share.”

About Jupiter Wagons:

Jupiter Wagons Limited is a leading Indian manufacturer of railway freight wagons, committed to delivering productive and reliable transportation solutions for a nation on the move. We boast a rich heritage of over four decades, pioneering advancements in wagon design and construction, while consistently exceeding industry standards for quality and safety.  Pioneering excellence in railway freight car engineering. We have been shaping the future of cargo transportation with cutting-edge technology, robust designs, and unwavering customer focus. Our variety of wagons caters to every commodity need, ensuring seamless and efficient movement across the country’s railway network.

Jupiter Wagons Limited, once known solely for its robust rail wagons, is now boldly rewriting its narrative. Recognizing the shifting winds of the transportation landscape, the company has embarked on a strategic diversification journey, venturing into promising new realms. Beyond steel behemoths, the horizon now encompasses electric commercial vehicles, poised to capitalize on the burgeoning green mobility wave. But innovation doesn’t stop there. Jupiter has set its sights on the proliferate business of railway brake systems, brake discs for high-speed LHB coaches and track solutions, leveraging its existing expertise to forge a stronger grip on the industry. This multi-pronged unlocks new avenues for growth and a healthier bottom line. Jupiter Wagons is no longer just an engineering entity of the rail sector; it’s a dynamic conglomerate, chugging confidently towards building a product portfolio assortment for the future of mobility solutions.

About Dun & Bradstreet:

Dun & Bradstreet, a leading global provider of business decisioning data and analytics, enables companies around the world to improve their business performance. Dun & Bradstreet’s Data Cloud fuels solutions and delivers insights that empower customers to accelerate revenue, lower cost, mitigate risk and transform their businesses. Since 1841, companies of every size have relied on Dun & Bradstreet to help them manage risk and reveal opportunity. For more information on Dun & Bradstreet, please visit www.dnb.com.

Dun & Bradstreet Information Services India Private Limited is headquartered in Mumbai and provides clients with data-driven products and technology-driven platforms to help them take faster and more accurate decisions across finance, risk, compliance, information technology and marketing. Working towards Government of India’s vision of creating an Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India) by supporting the Make in India initiative, Dun & Bradstreet India has a special focus on helping entrepreneurs enhance their visibility, increase their credibility, expand access to global markets, and identify potential customers & suppliers, while managing risk and opportunity.

India is also the home to Dun & Bradstreet Technology & Corporate Services LLP, which is the Global Capabilities Center (GCC) of Dun & Bradstreet supporting global technology delivery using cutting-edge technology. Located at Hyderabad, the GCC has a highly skilled workforce of over 500 employees, and focuses on enhanced productivity, economies of scale, consistent delivery processes and lower operating expenses.

Visit www.dnb.co.in for more information. Click here for all Dun & Bradstreet India press releases.

Dun & Bradstreet Contact:

Kaustav Bhattacharya

Email: BhattacharyaK@DNB.com

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