The following procedure is adopted while transporting goods through railways: 1. To Make a Choice between a Goods Train and a Passenger Train 2. Packing and Marking 3. Sending the Goods to the Railway Station 4. Consignment or Forwarding Note 5. Booking the Goods and Obtaining the Railway Receipt 6. Sending in Railway Receipt to the Consignee 7. Taking Delivery of Goods 8. Indemnity Bond.
Step # 1. To Make a Choice between a Goods Train and a Passenger Train:
The first step in the process of transporting goods by rail is to determine whether the goods are to be transported by a goods train or by a passenger train. A goods train is used for heavy and bulky goods. A passenger train is used for perishable goods or light articles. Generally, goods are sent through goods train.
Step # 2. Packing and Marking:
The goods are to be properly packed before they are transported. The goods may be packed in wooden cases, gunny bags, tin containers, bales, etc. to provide protection to the goods. On each package, distinct mark must be stenciled. In case of breakable goods instructions as ‘Handle with Care’, ‘Glass with Care’, etc., should also be mentioned on the packages.
Step # 3. Sending the Goods to the Railway Station:
After having packed and marked, the goods are sent to railway station for transporting to the destination.
Step # 4. Consignment or Forwarding Note:
The consignor (sender of the goods) is required to fill in a printed form which is available from the office of the railways. This form is called a ‘consignment note’ in case of a goods train and a ‘forwarding note’ in case of a passenger train. All terms and conditions on which the railway agrees to carry goods are printed on the back of this form.
The consignor is required to fill in the following information in such a note:
(i) Name and address of the consignor (sender)
(ii) Name and address of the consignee (receiver)
(iii) Description of goods
(iv) Number of packages
(v) Weight of goods
(vii) Destination (name of that station where goods are to be sent)
(viii) Freight paid or Freight to pay
(ix) Owner’s risk or Railway risk
The note is to be signed by the consignor.
Step # 5. Booking the Goods and Obtaining the Railway Receipt:
As soon as the consignor hands over the packed goods along with the forwarding or consignment note to the authorities at the forwarding station, he gets the Railway Receipt (R/R) from the railway office.
The railway receipt contains the following details:
(i) Name of the consignor.
(ii) Name of the consignee.
(iii) Brief description of the goods.
(iv) Name of the forwarding station.
(v) Station or destination.
(vi) Freight charges (paid or to pay).
Purposes of Railway Receipt:
It serves the following purposes:
(i) It is a receipt of goods.
(ii) It is a written contract between the sender of the goods and railways.
(iii) It is a ‘document of title’ to the goods. The owner of the ‘Railway Receipt’ is supposed to be the owner of goods.
Step # 6. Sending in Railway Receipt to the Consignee:
As it is a document of title to the goods, the consignor sends this receipt to the consignee. In case the R/R is ‘SELF’, the consignor should endorse it by putting his signature on the back of the receipt.
Step # 7. Taking Delivery of Goods:
The consignee can take the delivery of goods by presenting the R/R. If the delivery of the goods is not taken within a fixed time, a penalty called ‘Demurrage’ is charged by railway authorities to the consignee.
Step # 8. Indemnity Bond (Taking Delivery of Goods if R/R is Lost):
If the R/R is lost, the consignee can take the delivery of the goods consigned by depositing an ‘indemnity bond’ duly signed by him, his surety and two witnesses. An indemnity bond is an agreement between the consignee and the railway authorities that if somebody else makes a claim in respect of the goods so delivered, he will indemnify the railway for any payment made by it.