Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari digitally flagged
off a consignment of 2,30,000 tonnes of steel cargo from Vizag port to
Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kochi through coastal shipping route today.
Speaking on the occasion the Minister informed
that Rastriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) which has its manufacturing unit in
Visakhapatnam was, till now, transporting its products to 22 stockyards through
road and rail mode.
Coastal transportation of these products will now
help save 380 million tonnes km of rail transportation per annum and bring down
logistics costs, he said.
This is especially significant since RINL has
doubled its production capacity to 6.3 million tonnes per annum, and to cater
to the increased volumes it is important to economize on transportation costs to
be globally competitive. The Minister further urged all other manufactures to
make use of coastal shipping for transporting goods as this can be a key
enabler for reduction of logistics cost for domestic and EXIM trade of India.
Coastal movement has been on RINLís radar for a
long time because of its proximity to the ports and to ease the pressure from
the over optimized road and rail systems.RINL recently finalised a one year
Multi Modal Transportation contract covering end to end logistics from plant at
Visakhapatnam to its stockyards at Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kochi. The Rs.75
crores annual contract has been awarded to the consortium led by M/s Shreyas
Shipping & Logistics Ltd, Mumbai, a member of Transworld Group, Dubai.
The contract involves taking delivery of material
from plant, shifting by road to Visakhapatnam Port or Gangavaram Port, shipping
the material by sea to a port near the stockyard and finally delivering the
material to RINL Stockyard. The quantities expected to be transported are 90000
T, 75000 T and 60000 T to Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kochi stockyards respectively.
Movement of cargo through coastal shipping has
inherent advantages over land modes of transport such as road and rail as it is
more cost effective, causes much less pollution, reduces congestion on land and
can cater to huge parcel sizes .
In view of this, Government of India has
initiated several measures for promoting coastal movement. The Sagarmala
project is one of the strategic and customer-oriented initiatives to modernize
India's ports to augment coastal movement so that ports become drivers of
Globally countries such as China and Netherlands
have achieved a modal share of 24 per cent for coastal shipping and inland
water navigation. Increasing the share
of coastal shipping and inland navigation in the transport modal mix is one of
the key objectives of the Sagarmala Project. Sagarmala programme envisages to
double current share of coastal shipping in Indiaís overall modal mix from 6%
to 12% by 2025.
The Government has taken several steps to promote
coastal shipping. Vishakhapatnam Port Trust has totally removed CHD levy on
steel cargo from earlier 265 per cent to boost shipment of steel cargo. 40 per
cent concession on vessel related and cargo related charges are applicable for
such coastal movement.
For coastal movement through RoRo vessels, 80 per
cent concession on vessel related and cargo related charges are applicable in
Indian Ports. As a result of the efforts by the government, container tonnage
has increased from 351276 DWT in 2015 to 654883 DWT as on 31st October 2017, a
positive increase of 86 per cent.
14 Indian flag container fleet with DWT of 31,846
have been added after the tax on bunker fuel for Indian flag container vessels
was abolished in 2015. 21 projects worth
Rs. 729.6 Cr have been provided financial assistance of Rs. 205 Cr under the
Coastal Berth scheme in Sagarmala to promote the development of dedicated
infrastructure for coastal shipping of goods and passengers across Indiaís Major
and Non-Major ports.
Mr. Gadkari said that this new era of transport
will give a boost to the economy, encourage industrial growth, create more
employment and raise the GDP of the country.
Chaudhary Birendra Singh, Union Minister of Steel
was however present at Vizag Port. He lauded the efforts of the Shipping
Ministry in ensuring that ports and waterways ably support the transport
requirements of the steel industry. He said that the growth of ports would help
the steel industry immensely.