E-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart have reportedly been approached by the Indian Railways to give a much needed push to the latter's parcel business.
According to a report, the railways are planning to introduce a special scheme to attract online retailers that use road transport to transfer heavy volumes.
According to a report appearing in the Economic Times, the railways earns around Rs 2,100 crores from its parcel business, and this has the potential to go up to Rs 5,000 crores by 2018 if the railways manages to tap emerging businesses.
If this e-commerce initiative takes off, the railways could reduce its existing financial woes and use any surplus for the upgrade and modernization of rail infrastructure.
India's e-commerce market will grow to USD 100 billion by 2020 from USD 3 billion in 2013, according to a report by Morgan Stanley.
The railways do feel it can offer significant cost advantage, particularly over long haul transport.