The Nepal-bound containers that are
shipped from the Kolkata Port, in India, have been facing a number of problems
at the Indian port. Delay in clearance, lengthy documentation procedures and a
lack of timely availability of rakes are the key problems identified by Nepali
traders that has made trading costs significantly high.
The Kolkata Port receives around 400-600
Nepal-bound containers every week. Of these, only around 335 containers arrive
at the Dry Port in Sirsiya, Birgunj. This delay in movement of Nepal-bound
containers has been compelling importers to pay demurrage charges, which has
pushed logistics costs.
V Kalyana Rama, the Chairman and Managing Director of Concor
in an interview to the Kathmandu Post discusses the problem of the cargo
movement at the Indian port. Focusing on
the more important aspects in the interview a few questions and answers are
the major roadblocks on this trading route?
is perhaps one of the biggest roadblocks. Nepali traders and freight forwarders
often complain that Concor is monopolising the entire business. And they think
that if the private sector were to step into the market, many existing problems
would disappear. But will it?
robust enough to provide more rakes and other related services. Our 22 rakes
can easily pull off four trips per month. Currently, we have been able to
conduct 44 trips, although our potential is 73 trips. If operators ask for
more, we are ready to provide more. Traders in Nepal mainly go for arbitrage,
thatís why there is delay in clearance from Birgunj ICD. These practices have
to be streamlined properly, and then these problems could well be taken care
Why are you
reluctant to increase infrastructural facility at HTPL in Birgunj ICD?
forklift at the Dry Port clears 80-90 containers at a time. But, an average of
30 containers gets stuck at ICD. If it is needed, we are ready to increase the
number of forklifts operated by HTPL. A forklift comes at the cost of only
IRs700,000-800,000. Increasing the number of forklifts is not a big deal.
your opinion, how can we solve the ongoing problem of cargo movement?
this problem, we can invite officials from the Nepal Chamber of Commerce,
prominent Nepali traders, freight forwarders and all other concerned
authorities to sit and talk to solve the raging issues together. However,
having said that, we cannot change the system, particularly firm systems such
as the advance freight payment system. But we are ready to provide additional
help, if concerned persons come up with concrete agendas.