With globalisation, it has become easier to transport goods from one part of the country to another in a short period. The whole process of transportation has become simpler with the development of differentspeedy modes of land transport.
According to a report of the Planning Commission, there has been an estimated increase in the use of land transport for commercial purposes. The report confirms that the rail and road freight traffic is projected to grow at about 12 % and 8 % per annum respectively to achieve a 50 % share each in the total freight traffic till 2032. However, the rise in the transport industry is accompanied by the risk of constant damage to the goods, which are sometimes unavoidable in nature.
Major causes of Road and Rail accidents in India in recent years
- Derailment of trains
Derailment of train deemed to be the highest cause of train accidents in our country. Around 6 out of 7 train accidents recorded in India in 2016 were because of derailment of trains. It can lead to damage to goods as the train loses its balance and leads to fall or overturning of the coaches leading to death and injuries to multiple people.
- Train collisions
In 2014, Gorakhpur-bound Gorakhdham Express rammed into a stationary goods train near Khalilabad station in Uttar Pradesh. Collision of trains with other transports is the second-highest cause of accidents in India. Collisions also include ramming the trains with the vehicles on the roads at bridge crossings.
- Road traffic collisions
Collision of vehicles on roads is a common sight in India. Collisions can lead to extensive damage to goods in transit due to the ignition of fire and overturning of vehicles and damage to the packaging of goods.
According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the major causes of traffic collisions on the road are:
- Driving over the speed limit,
- Drunk driving
- Failure to maintain lane or yield to the oncoming traffic when turning are prime causes of accidents on the four lane
- Rail Misalignment due to floods
Natural disasters like floods can hamper the functioning of the whole rail network. A train derailed in Madhya Pradesh in 2015 and its bogies fell into Machak river after flash floods caused rail misalignment. Such cases are not uncommon in areas which experience heavy rainfall and floods. Dense fog conditions are also one of the major causes of derailment and collisions of road and rail traffic.
- Burglary and theft:
Theft of goods in transit is not uncommon, especially in riot-prone areas. Goods are often destroyed to hamper the economy of a particular company, region or state. Burglary and theft might also be carried out as a criminal activity to vent out personal grudges.
Above mentioned are some of the risks that lead to damage and loss of valuable goods in commercial vehicles. To prevent it, taking the safety measures is a necessity.
Suggested safety measures to reduce loss or damage to goods
It is said that precaution is better than cure. The same holds true in case of transporting goods from one place to another. Below are some of the safety measures that might be taken by business units to avoid considerable loss or damage to goods.
- Use the most appropriate form of transport for your goods
If a large block of limestone is loaded in a mini-truck, which is small for it, it is going to lead to accidents due to overhanging of the goods. Thus, use of appropriate vehicle and mode of transport is a must to ensure the security of goods in transit.
- Use appropriate containers:
Storing salt in containers that had been used for chemicals can be a bad idea. It can also lead to combustion and fire to the goods in transit. Similarly, overloading the packaging cartons can lead to extensive damage to goods.
- Use a good tracking system
The tracking system can help one save the high-value goods as their location will constantly be tracked and risks can be judged at various locations.
- Ensure weight is distributed evenly
Even distribution of goods is necessary to maintain balance and to avoid overturning of vehicles.This is also applicable when ladders are put to remove the loads of goods.
- Inland transit insurance
The Inland transit insurance policy provides cover to the insured’s business goods or while being transported by land. It provides protection against risks like
- Third party liability
- Natural disasters like cyclones, floods, storms etc.
Most insurers offer this policy with the advantage of cover against all risks. The policy can however be customised according to one’s requirements.
So, safety is a must to save businesses from considerable losses. Even if damage or loss occurs, protect through availing suitable insurance policies.