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Concor to resume Coastal shipping service on the West Coast from Kandla to Tuticorin from next month/

From mid-July, state-run Container Corporation of India Ltd (Concor) will restart coastal shipping services from VOC Port Tuticorin  to Kandla port in Gujarat it had suspended in March when the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the pandemic.

“We have already told the vessel operator to tie-up all the slots, complete the process ,” a Concor official said, adding that the service would resume by mid-July. India’s biggest rail hauler of containers has purchased 2,000 new higher capacity containers — painted in dark blue – to be used in coastal trade.

Concor entered coastal shipping in January 2019

Concor entered coastal shipping in January 2019 linking Kandla Port with VO Chidambaranar Port Trust in Tuticorin with stops at New Mangalore Port Trust and Cochin Port Trust by a weekly call.

Beginning November last year till March 2020, the two ships deployed on the service were running at full capacity and an average of 60 containers used to be left behind in many ports enroute when the ships sailed for want of space in the ship. On the March 27 sailing and the 59th overall since the service began, some 100 containers were left behind for want of space.

Between November 2019 and March 2020, the ships carried over 30,000 twenty-foot containers. Notwithstading that it is a new service tried out on an experimental basis, the peformance in terms of generation of cargo from both ends was good.

Concor had picked Vishwa Samudra Coastal Lines Ltd to launch the Western coast service last year through a tender, seeking to benefit from the impetus given by the government to decongest road and rail.

The 10-year contract deployed two coastal ships

The 10-year contract deployed two coastal ships capable of carrying as much as 700 twenty-foot equivalent units or TEUs with maximum gross weight of 21,000 tonnes.

Concor had planned to launch a similar service on the Eastern coast linking Chennai Port with Dhaka in Bangladesh, in March. “Everything is in place.”

Shipping experts say the present west coast coastal service could not be extended from Tuticorin to Chennai Port because of the draft restrictions in the Pamban area near Rameshwaram.


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