To revolutionize the Indian Railway freight business by providing information for better decision making and efficient running, thereby improving the economic performance and competitiveness.
The objective of FOIS System is to be a single comprehensive IT platform for complete freight operations / information on Indian Railways. This system covers mainly two modules viz. Rake Management System (RMS) and Terminal Management System (TMS) for capturing operating and commercial information across Indian Railways. In addition to these two modules, FOIS offers many more state-of-the-art solutions to bring convenience, transparency, ease of doing business and overall economic growth. Facilitates effective decision making through availability of timely and accurate information.
By introduction of e-Demand Module, today, the major customers have been provided an IT Window through FOIS which allows them to do so without visiting Goods Sheds and Railway clerks do not play any role in registration of indents or prioritising of one's traffic over others. Introduction of e-Demand Registration module marked a new beginning with majority of freight customers booking their indents, anytime anywhere, through an easy to use interface in a more transparent manner. The applicable Wagon Registration Fee (WRF) is also realized through this module via secure IRCTC payment gateway. More than 43% of total indents are being captured through the system including almost 100% of Coal booking. The system provides convenience and ease of doing business by helping customers save the hassles of manual visits or interactions with concerned Railway staff.
Issue of Railway Receipt (RR) is an integral part of Indian Railways Freight Business, which is a legal document to be maintained by Railways and Customers from the time of loading of goods up to delivery and/or for the purpose of claims. As a practice, 4 copies of the Railway Receipt in 132 column pre-printed stationary need to be printed and preserved for years as record by Railways and Customer needs to transmit same in physical form from source to destination to take delivery of Goods. Electronic Transmission of Railway Receipt (eT-RR) is a green initiative wherein Railway Receipts can now be digitally shared among stake holders and kept as records for Railways. It has been rolled out on PAN India basis. This initiative of process re-engineering in IR Freight business brings transparency and helps maintain the highest level of data security and audit trail in the system.
Rake Permits issued by Mining department of various State Governments were earlier required to be endorsed on the Railways Forwarding Note for placing the indent with Railways. As there was no digital record maintained at Railway Good-sheds regarding the Rake Permits issued by State Govt. the same led to various frauds, manipulation of Rake Permits and multiple loading against single Rake Permit. With integration of FOIS with Dept. of Mines of the State Government, an automated verification of Rake Permits issued by State Govts, has been possible and the manual endorsement of Forwarding Notes by Mining Departments is no longer required. This has brought in transparency in operations at large and curbed chances of frauds in the process, leading to reduction in illegal transportation of ores.
As a policy all freight trains are expected to undergo a weighment process at originating station or en-route for correctness of weights declared by customer. This is also applicable for rakes carrying Import Containers. Any discrepancy, may result in increase of train dwell time and reduction in efficiency. Indian Railways, through FOIS, has established an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) with Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) through which, detailed information including commodity and weight of all import containers is made available to FOIS. Information of as many as 10,95,000 import containers is updated annually in FOIS by CBEC and is further validated against loading of same in Railway Wagons by container train operators. With the help of this active EDI, Railways has ensured that there is correct weight by Container Train Operators and incentivizes Customers by doing away with weighment of such trains. Thus, helping Railways curb any misuse of system by digitally collecting data and using it in its business process.
The freight charge, levied on all consignments varies based on numerous factors and Railway policies implemented from time to time. Payment of exact freight amount, which runs in lakh of rupees, has always been a challenge for customers and results in un-wanted delays in operations and charges incurred for arranging the same in the nick of time. The involvement of manual interventions in commercial business may lead to corrupt practices. Indian Railways, through FOIS, has been able to implement a freight collection mechanism through a one of its kind payment process wherein a customer, through one of the nationalized banks, authorizes Railway to directly debit the freight amount from his/her account and credit same in Railway account without user requiring to authorize each transaction. As much as Rs. 94,541 Crores (76.71% of the total yearly freight) was realized in system through this arrangement in the year 2019-20. The facility is available to customers 24x7 and helps bringing transparency and convenience.
Allotment of Rakes towards customer indents needs to be carried out as per Railway policy guidelines in a transparent and justified manner. However, since the process had been manual for years, the same has witnessed numerous complaints from esteemed freight customers. To address the problem, Indian Railways, through FOIS, has devised an automated Rake Allotment System (RAS) for its Iron Ore Traffic. The IT System has been developed with all the rules of allotment pre-fed in the system and can be configured as per Railway policies by Administrator. The system auto generates the Allotment plan on daily basis based on IR network capacities and commitment of customers for the period. The allotment plan so generated is communicated back to customers through SMS and e-mail and also published on FOIS Website for public view. Similarly, for Coal Traffic, the rakes allotted by authorities are being captured in the Rake Allotment System (RAS-COAL) and the Coal allotment along with Arrear of Coal Allotment detail is being published on FOIS Website. The system has brought in transparency and helps curbing any malpractice in the trade.
Weighment of freight trains is a crucial operation for ensuring the health of Railway assets and maintain the efficiency. Indian Railways, through FOIS, has established Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) with IT Applications of various In-motion weighbridges, exchanging data related to weight of bulk commodities carried in wagons. With minimum human intervention in the process, accurate freight charging based on actual weight of goods being transported by Railways is accomplished. This system of exchange is highly secure on dedicated network and has helped Railways in curbing any malpractices involved in weighment of Rakes and charging of Goods.
An app for Indian Railway Freight Customers offering myriad of features including Consignment track and trace, booking information, freight calculator, terminals detail, Indents outstanding and maturity information, operating restrictions, performance dashboard and many more. The app is available for both Android and iOS customers through their respective app stores. App also provides contact detail of key nodal officers for customers concerns.
Simplified logistic management by extending such facilities to customer premises and allotment of Rakes for loading is now visible to the Freight Customers
Provides continuous cargo visibility and instant access to information regarding status of consignment in transit to freight customers. Global tracking of consignments in trains and wagons.
Monitoring of Key Performance Indices to analyse Indian Railways freight business across different aspects. Operating and Commercial Performance monitoring for Freight Managers and overall business and operational efficiency indicators for freight customers through different application offerings, bringing transparency and ease of doing business.
Integrated Freight Business Management tool to optimize utilization of costly assets and resources by improving distribution of rakes /wagons and locos and scheduling and routing traffic in a cost effective manner.
Facilitates acceptance, billing, cash accountal of freight traffic from identified nodal customer centers which may not be handling terminals. Accurate and uniform operating information regarding loco, wagon, yard, terminal etc.
Commercial and operating Information is shared to core Ministries of Govt of India and major freight customers to fuel their ERP systems. The partners are: Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Power, NTPC, SAIL, ACC and many more. Bringing better coordination among all stakeholders including RAIL, COAL and POWER ministries.