The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has launched a dedicated
portal to connect cargo owners and shippers with real time data on availability
of vessels. The landmark e-connect measure will enable direct interaction among
the vessel operators, shippers and cargo owners as currently, there is no platform to know the availability of vessels
in the market.
It has been designed and developed by the in-house
IT Department and the Traffic Wing of IWAI as part of its preparedness for optimal use of its ongoing capacity
development on various National Water Ways.on the river Ganges connecting Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
as the Forum of Cargo-Owners And
Logistics-Operators (FOCAL), the link of the portal is available on the
Homepage of IWAI website www.iwai.nic.in. Launching the portal. IWAI
chairperson Ms Nutan Guha Biswas said, the
step is in line with IWAI’s commitment to promote Inland Water
Transport (IWT) in India by way of critical interventions, both physical and in
the form of creating intellectual property.
FOCAL will facilitate responses from
the logistic operators against the requirement raised by cargo owners and
vice-versa. The users can register on the portal to key in the availability and
details of vessels or the available cargo, as the case may be. Cargo owners
will be able to put details like the origin, destination, type of cargo
In its role as a facilitator and now
aggregator, IWAI, that owns a limited number of vessels itself, has been doing
pilot movements to establish technical and commercial viability of IWT. The
Government is developing National Waterways as a key transport intervention, as
part of an integrated transport network strategy, which will help correct the
transport modal mix that imposes huge logistics costs on the Indian economy. At
present the cost of logistics in India, at 15 per cent of GDP, is about twice
those in the United States.