KARACHI: M/s PRAL (Pvt) Ltd has developed the WeBOC Module for transit of cargo through railway in consultation with Directorate of Reforms & Automation.

Sources said the subject module is in testing phase and could be launched within a week time.

In December 2014, Pakistan Railways proposed the revival of movement of transit traffic from Karachi to Chaman and Peshawar by Railways.

It was further proposed that Pakistan Railways could load two trains per day (100 containers) which can further be enhanced on the demand of importers. Pakistan Railways also ensured that the transit time of 6-7 days for Peshawar and 4-5 days for Chaman.

Subsequently, analysis upon the feasibility of transit through railway was sought from Director Transit Trade, Peshawar and Quetta.

Director Transit Trade, Peshawar viewed that transportation of transit cargo could be started through Railway after incorporating the requisite modification into the WeBOC system.

It is worth noting that a meeting held between Finance Ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan in November 2014. It was agreed during the meeting that facility of transportation of transit trade cargo for Afghanistan through Railway would be provided by Pakistan.

Pakistan Customs was required to develop business process and customs procedures for initiating the process of transportation of transit cargo through Railways. In this regard the Directorate General of Transit Trade prepared the requisite process flow and requirement specification documents (RSD) for developing WeBOC module for transportation of transit trade FCL cargo (commercial / non-commercial) through railways.

Transit through railways can be started as the pilot project, which may be further enhanced after its initial success.

Transit through railways will provide an alternative means of transportation of transit cargo. It will also reduce the chances of monopoly of bonded carriers and transporters, which at times go on strikes chocking the ports and blocking the transportation of transit cargo.

Sources said that Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) and Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) seem reluctant to implement transit cargo through railways.