State-run Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR)
will start coastal shipping services in the next few days on the country’s
Eastern coast, linking Chennai Port with Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka.
The eastern coast service will be flagged off a
year after CONCOR entered coastal shipping in January 2019 linking Deendayal
Port Trust in Kandla with VO Chidambaranar Port Trust in Tuticorin, with stops
at New Mangalore Port Trust and Cochin Port Trust, in a weekly call.
to go with its Western coast ship operator to launch services on the Eastern
India’s biggest rail hauler of containers, with a
market share of 75 per cent in export-import containers, has decided to go with
its Western coast ship operator Vishwa Samudra Coastal Lines Ltd to launch
services on the Eastern coast.
The Eastern coast service will be run with two
ships hired by Vishwa Samudra from the market.
Bangladesh’s booming economy has earned it the status
as the fastest-growing economy in the Eastern hemisphere. The country’s GDP
grew by 8.1 per cent in 2019 and is forecast to expand by 8 per cent this year
also, according to the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB).
had to be rescheduled since one vessel permitted while two sought after
“The opening of the service has to happen this
month; we are already behind schedule by three months because we were not able
to get permission from the Shipping Ministry. Initially, the ministry gave us
permission to operate One vessel, but we wanted permission for two vessels and
hence had to reschedule the service,” a CONCOR sources said.
The initial plan was to launch the Eastern coast
service linking Krishnapatanam port in Andhra Pradesh with Dhaka. “But,
following demands from the trade, We have decided to ply the service between Chennai
Port and Dhaka,” the official said.
Concor had picked Vishwa Samudra to launch the
Western coast service last year through a tender, seeking to benefit from the
impetus given by the government to the waterway mode to decongest road and
The ten-year contract deploys two coastal ships
capable of carrying as much as 700 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units or TEUs with
maximum gross weight of 21,000 tons (cargo plus container weight).
Seaport Cargo Logistics Pvt Ltd, a unit of the
Hyderabad-based CVR Group, the former promoter of Krishnapatnam Port in Nellore
district of Andhra Pradesh, holds a 60 per cent stake in Vishwa Samudra Coastal
with Hyderabad-based Vm Logistics Consulting LLP holding the balance in the
joint venture company.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs
(CBIC) allows Indian-flag vessels to make calls en-route at Sri Lankan and
Bangladeshi Ports during their export-import (EXIM) and domestic services.
This will help fleet owners make optimum use of
their space, cut transportation costs and boost modal shift of cargo from road
and rail to sea.
Privatizing CONCOR started by the govt
The government has started the process of
privatizing CONCOR by selling 30 per cent of its stake in the company to a
strategic partner along with transfer of management control. The government
currently holds a 54.8 per cent stake in the company.