What is Rail freight?
Rail freight transport is the use of railroads and trains to transport cargo from one place to the other to mainly in businesses to satisfy customers needs and wants
What does a freight train carry?
Freight trains can carry anything from automobiles and airplane parts, to grain and wheat. There are different types of cars for each type of freight carried, and each car serves a certain purpose. When goods need to be moved across long distances, few transportation modes can be as efficient as railroads. This is why trains have always been part of the logistics chain.
The greatest advantage of the railway transport is that it is the most dependable mode of transport as it is the least affected by weather conditions such as rains, fog etc. compared to other modes of transport. It is also better organised than any other form of transport. It has fixed routes and schedules. Its service is more certain, uniform and regular as compared to other modes of transport.
Moreso it is a cheaper mode of transport as compared to other modes of transport. Most of the working expenses of railways are in the nature of fixed costs. Every increase in the railway traffic is followed by a decrease in the average cost. Rail transport is economical in the use of labour also as one driver and one guard are sufficient to carry much more load than the motor transport.
The carrying capacity of the railways is extremely large. Moreover, its capacity is elastic which can easily be increased by adding more wagons and is the safest form of transport. The chances of accidents and breakdowns of railways are minimum as compared to other modes of transport. Moreover, the traffic can be protected from the exposure to sun, rains, snow etc.
On the other hand railway transport is its inflexibility. Its routes and timings cannot be adjusted to individual requirement. Rail transport cannot provide door to door service as it is tied to a particular track. Intermediate loading or unloading involves greater cost, more wear and tear and wastage of time.
The time and cost of terminal operations are a great disadvantage of rail transport. This makes rail freight suitable for a selected transportation of products.