The Railway Parcel Booking Procedure could be a meaty task to do but, if done with the basic consideration of rules laid out, the Indian Railway Parcel Service can be a piece of cake.
The Indian Railways have been in service since 1853. It has thus been functioning way before the birth of most of our grandparents. It not only transports people from one destination to another but also, goods and livestock.
Though in the eighties one could simply send their parcels without any formalities and paperwork, now times have changed and so have the rules of Railway Parcel Booking Procedure.
Here is the Step by Step Procedure for Railway Parcel Booking:
Step 1: Pack the Parcel Properly
There are 2 ways to pack the parcel:
Way 1: You can self-pack the parcel by applying extreme caution
Pack the articles exercising extreme caution. One can use packing material which is durable and weather resistant. Also, it is best advisable to insulate the package with plastic sheets on the inside. Lastly, double cello-tape the entire parcel.
Next, with a permanent marker pen, mention the sender’s name, mobile number along with the name and mobile number of the recipient. One must take all the care and caution when packing the parcel to avoid any mishandling or damage to the parcel.
Way 2: Railway Parcel Office can Pack the Parcel
If one finds packing too much of a hassle one could carry the parcel to the nearest railway station. The railway parcel office officials can get the parcel packed against a nominal charge. The railway parcel office can be found either at the first platform or the last platform. Livestock, however, does not require any packaging.
Step 2: Book the Parcel & Collect the Railway Parcel Booking Charges Receipt
1. Railway Parcel booking procedure for Manual Booking of Parcels
After delivery of the parcel to the Railway Parcel Office, the next step would be to book it. Booking of Railway Parcels meant to be transported through the Indian Railways is done after a manual inspection by the authorities.
They also require the furnishing of a few documents to ensure the authenticity of the parcel, like:
- Official ID proof of sender – Its copy is attached while booking the parcel.
- Official ownership documents of the article – They should bear the same name as the sender of the parcel.
- Any insurance related documents (if any) – It’s just a mandatory formality to further strengthen ownership of the articles.
Of course, one can find many agents in the Railway Parcel Office premises keenly interested in offering their services. It must be understood that such agents are all unauthorized. One should not fall into their trap and bargain a lot with them for a reasonable deal.
2. Railway Parcel Booking Procedure for Booking Parcels Online
Indian Railways has the option to book parcels online as well. The function is simply to facilitate quicker and easier booking. It can be done through the Indian Railways Online Booking Service by registering at the official Indian Railways Parcel Website.
The website portal prepares the PWB/PRR in pdf form and emails it to the registered email id. Its print out can be used at the time of delivery and arrival of the parcel.
What is a PWB/PRR (Parcel Way Bill or Parcel Railway Receipt)?
Packages that pass through the scrutiny (whatever the authorities deem fit as per the nature of the parcel) are then booked against a nominal amount. The booking amount is paid by the sender there and then. An RPW (Railway Parcel Way Bill) also known as PRR (Parcel Railway Receipt) is handed in return.
Since the presentation of PRR/RPW is mandatory for the collection of the parcel, the receipt must be kept securely.
Indian Railway Parcel Service Charges
Indian Railway Parcel Service charges a very low amount as compared to modern day courier service. Where one lacks in timely delivery, the other lacks in reliability and reasonable pricing. What could have cost one and two rupees in the initial days of Indian Railways now, of course, costs more? The Railway Parcel Service charges have witnessed quite a journey in its long service period.
Types of Railways Parcel Service Charges/Scales
Currently, the Indian Railways Parcel Charges are bifurcated in four types excluding Parcel Luggage rates. They are charged as per the weight of the luggage and the distance the luggage will be traveling.
I) S– Standard/Economy Parcel Service
The Economy Parcel rates are the cheapest that are charged from customers. The Economy Parcel Service uses ordinary passenger trains for transportation of parcels. Thus, they face the most delay (if any).
Here are the rate sheets for booking of parcels under the Economy Parcel Service by the Indian Railways:
II) P– Premier Parcel Service
The Premier Parcel rates are slightly on the pricier side because in the Premier Parcel Service uses notified mail/express trains for transportation. These trains are notified by the Zonal railways to facilitate easy and quick to and fro of parcels.
The Railway parcel booking charges of the Premier Parcel Service are right below:
III) R– Rajdhani Premier Parcel Service
But naturally, since the Rajdhani Parcel Service uses Rajdhani express trains for transportation of parcels, their rates are high. This service, however, is faster as compared to the other two. It is also much more reliable for any kind of parcels.
Thus, they are most suitable for transporting valuable parcels and livestock. Rajdhani Parcel Service Booking Charges rates are the following:
IV) R + 25% ( Rajdhani Scale + 25%)
In this service, Rajdhani scale applies with an addition to a 25% excess charge. Under this scale other superfast trains are used for transportation like Shatabdi, Duronto trains.
Online Parcel Charge Calculator:
In order to facilitate a simplistic understanding of railway parcel charges, one can calculate it online using the Indian Railways Parcel Charge Calculator tool.
V) L– Luggage Parcel Service: Transportation of Article(s) booked as Luggage instead of Parcels
The procedure for sending articles as luggage is quite similar to sending articles as parcel through the Railway Parcel Service. Except, one is required to actually travel along with the luggage. To book the parcels as luggage, the following are to be presented- a train ticket, an ID proof and other necessary documents relating to the article(s).
It might be more reliable than Railway Parcel Service but the Railway Luggage booking charges are much pricier. However, Luggage Parcel Service experiences no delay as one is traveling in the same train as the articles (booked as luggage). Railway luggage charges per kg can be found at the Indian Railways Parcel Website.
Articles can then be retrieved from the Railway Parcel Office on presentation of the PRR/PWB.
Step 3: Tracking of the Parcels Sent Through Indian Railways
There are 2 ways to track the parcel:
I) Online Tracking of the Parcels
In order to track parcels online, one can simply log on to Railway Parcel Website and fill in the required details such as:
- PWB/ PRR number,
- The name or code of the originating station (station from which the parcel was sent)
The name or code of the destination station (station where the parcel is meant to be received). Once the details have been submitted simply click on SUBMIT. The screen will redirect to the online status screen which will then display the status of delivery for your parcel.
II) Manual Tracking of the Parcel
If you still don’t feel any worthwhile assurance then please drop in a quick visit to the nearest station for more information. Since sending parcels through railways are the cheapest way of transport, they accompany many hassles and untimely delays.
Railway Parcel Enquiry Phone Number
One can contact the Railway Parcel Enquiry Office at 011-23303850, 011-23384416 or 011-23303858 or by dropping an email of queries and complaints at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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Step 4: Collection of Railway Parcels
One can easily collect their parcels from the Railway Station. It only requires the presentation of the Parcel Way Bill (PWB) or Parcel Railway Receipt (PRR). However, few official documents might be needed to present along with the PWB/PRR such as receiver’s ID proof, etc.
Here is how you can collect the parcel:
I) Parcel/Luggage Collection
Parcels can be collected within 10 hours of working of Railway Parcel department after unloading of all parcels on notified stations.
In the case of other than notified stations, parcels can be collected within 18 hours after unloading.
II) Heavier Parcel (2 or 4 wheeled carriages, cars, buggy etc) or Livestock Collection
Similarly, in the case of heavier consignments like bikes, cars, livestock the time limit of recovery is 6 hours after unloading.
The prevention of animal cruelty act, makes it mandatory that livestock should be removed from parcel authorities within 24 hours of their arrival. If they are not removed then they are then disposed of as per the relating provisions of the Railways Act, 1989.
If You Lost Your PWB/PRR (Parcel Railway Receipt)
If one loses the PWB/PRR, a basic acknowledgment statement of loss of PRR/PWB is required. It must be presented along with other details of the parcel like contents, name, and code of the originating station and destination station.
This statement of acknowledgment has to be authorized by a Notary. Once authorized, the statement then becomes the PWB/PRR. It can be used to collect the parcel from the Railway Parcel Authorities.
Delay in Removal of Parcels Levies Wharfage Charge
Wharfage Charge is the charge that is levied when parcels are not removed from the Parcel Office within prescribed time limits. In the case of excess detention of consignments in the railway premises, the following charges are levied:
|Wharfage Charge Rates|
|Station type||Parcels or luggage||Two-wheeled Carriages like bikes, scooters, motorcycles etc||3 or 4 wheeled carriages like Cars, Trucks, Lorries, Buggies etc.||Livestock|
|Notified Stations||1 rupee per 50 kg per hour or partial as the case may be||10 rupees per hour for every item or partial as the case may be||50 rupees per hour for every item or partial as the case may be||10 rupees per hour for every item or partial as the case may be|
|Other than Notified Stations||0.50 rupee per 50 kg per hour or partial as the case may be|
Credits: Corrigendum to Rates Circular No. 69 of 2009.
Feed/Fodder Expenses of Livestock are Chargeable Irrespective
The Railways Act, 1989, in order to prevent any animal cruelty, clearly specifies feeding and fodder charges to be leviable to the owner of the livestock.
Railway Parcel Timings
The official working hours of the Indian Railway Authorities relating to Parcel timings are 10 AM to 5 PM.
I hope this gives a clear understanding of the Railway Parcel Booking procedure.