Transport System

Transport or transportation is the movement of people, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport in air is aircraft, helicopter, cable, Space, etc., in land are rail, road, pipeline, etc., in water Ships and boats, etc. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations.

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Present Situation

Port & Shipping System

India has 12 major and about 200 non-major ports over 7500 Kilometres of coastline out of which 64 non-major ports handling EXIM cargo. 12% major ports in India handle approximately 57% of Cargo traffic. The country has 1605 Million Metric Tonnes in cargo capacity (2015-16) and has invested INR 175 Billion in last three years. 90% of the country's trade by volume and 70% by value are moved through maritime transport. Cargo handled at ports in 2014-15 - Dry bulk (34% iron ore, coal, fertilizer. food grains); liquid bulk (33% petrol, oil and lubricants); break bulk (17%) and container (16%).


India has the largest passenger carrier and the fourth largest rail freight carrier in the world. The country has 1.3 million strong work forces, working in railways. Indian Railways network spans more than 66030 km making it the world’s third largest rail network. Indian railways carried 8224.12 million passengers in 2014-15 which is about 1.430 million higher than putting together the passengers of the world. 

Indian government has allowed 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the railway infrastructure segment recently which has opened up opportunities for participation in infrastructure projects such as high-speed railways, railway lines to and from coal mines and ports, projects relating to electrification, high-speed tracks and suburban corridors. Indian Railways envisages an investment of INR 8.5 lakh Crore in the next five years. The sector aims to boost passenger amenities by involving Public Private Partnership (PPP) investments in provision of foot-over bridges, escalators and lifts at all major stations. Last-mile connectivity to boost business activity in and around ports and mines has been proposed through the formation of special purpose vehicle (SPV) companies under the PPP model. Indian Railways aims to involve private equity through individuals, NGOs, trusts, charitable institutions, corporates, etc. to provide passenger amenities such as battery-operated carts to facilitate movement for senior citizens and differently abled, at stations.

Increasing urbanization coupled with rising incomes (both urban and rural) is driving growth in the passenger segment and growing industrialization across the country has increased freight traffic over the last decade. Both passenger and freight traffic volumes have increased steadily in the past five years. While passenger traffic witnessed a CAGR of 2.6% during 2010-2015, freight traffic has registered a marginally lower CAGR of 4.3% during the same period. The sector runs 22,300 train carrying over 23 million passengers daily and connecting more than 7137 stations. Indian Railways runs more than 9202 freight trains, carrying about 3 million tonnes of freight every day. The sector total track length is 1,17,996 Km.  It also comprises 68,558 coaches, more than 2,54,006 wagons and 1.3 million employees. 

Roads and Highways

India has an extensive road network of 5.23 Million km which is the second largest in the world. India is investing USD 19 billion infrastructure development in 2012-17. India has 1, 00,087 km of National Highways and has 112 completed Public Private Partnership Projects and 149 Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects under progress. The transport sector constitutes 6% of the country's GDP and 70% of the share of the roads sector. More than 60% of freight and 90% of the passenger traffic in the country is handled by road.

The Government of India has launched major initiatives to upgrade and strengthen highways and expressways in the country. The private sector has emerged as a key player in the development of road infrastructure. The government of India aims to develop a total of 57,653 km of National Highways under various programmes such as The National Highway Development Project (NHDP), Special Accelerated Road Development Program for the North-east region and Left Wing Extremist (SARDP-NE), National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project (NHIIP). The NHDP, seven phase programme-one of the largest in the world-focuses on the widening, upgradation and rehabilitation of 54,478 km of National Highways of INR 2,47,635 Crore. Chhattisgarh is planning to invest INR 9,500 Crore (USD 1.5 Billion) to upgrade 44 roads in the state.

Working Areas

Port and Shipping System

2422 Million Metric tonnes of cargo handling capacity is required in Indian Ports by 2021-22. For this, additional cargo handling capacity of 901 million metric tonnes is required to be created in Indian Port in the next 6 to 7 years.

Ports Project involving investment of over USD 10 Billion identified for award during the next five years. Special Economic Zone (SEZs) is being developed in close proximity to several ports - comprising coal-based plants, steel plants and oil refineries. India has increase trade activity and private participation in port infrastructure.

India port development has the opportunity to serve the spill-off demand from major ports. The port support services like operation and maintenance services such as pilotage, dredging, harbouring and provision of marine assets such as barges and dredgers has the huge opportunity. The ship repair facilities in ports have a good demand, providing opportunities to build new dry docks and set up ancillary repair facilities.


The long-term strategic plan of the Ministry of Railways is to construct six high-capacity, high-speed dedicated freight corridors along the Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals. The sector has taken up port connectivity on priority and the development of identified stations to international standards with modern facilities and passenger amenities on the lines of newly developed airports, through PPP mode. 

A scheme for private participation in parcel movement will be launched shortly whereby procurement of parcel vans or parcel rakes by private parties will be facilitated. To develop a network of freight terminals, the Policy of Private Freight Terminals on the PPP model is being further refined. A proposal is in place to harness solar energy by utilising rooftop spaces of railway stations, other railway buildings and land, through the PPP mode.

Rail tourism is on the anvil, with emphasis on the introduction of eco-tourism and education tourism in the North-eastern states, the identification of special pilgrim circuits such as the Devi Circuit, the Jyotirling Circuit, the Jain Circuit, the Christian Circuit, the Sufi Circuit, the Sikh Circuit, the Buddhist Circuit and the Temple Circuit. Specially packaged trains for these circuits have been proposed and private participation will be encouraged.

India has the good opportunity to work in the areas of the following in railways:

  • Manufacture of components
  • Infrastructure projects
  • High speed train projects
  • Railway lines to and from coal mines and ports
  • Projects relating to electrification, high-speed tracks and suburban corridors
  • Dedicated freight corridors
  • The re-development of railway stations
  • Power generation and energy-saving projects
  • Freight terminals operations
  • Setting up of wagon, coaches and locomotive units
  • Gauge conversion
  • Network expansion


The rise in two wheeler and four wheeler vehicles, increasing freight traffic, strong trade and tourist flows between states are all set to augment growth of the roads. The increasing traffic and decreasing land space require boosting the road technology for constructing roads at lower time at lower cost and can be easily repair and maintain. The roads should be easily retaining water to the soil. This type of areas needs to work out.

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