The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has accorded high priority to building greater synergies between the Major Ports and Non-Major Ports in order to promote coastal trade and to provide sustainable, cost-effective and efficient Intermodal & Multimodal customer solutions. By doing so, the Ministry aims to provide seaborne connectivity to the trade and industries in the hinterland, reduce congestion on the road and rail besides bringing down logistics cost.
As a step in this direction, the Union Minister of State (I/C) for Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sri Mansukh Mandaviya today inaugurated the loading operation on the maiden voyage of Coastal Shipping Service “Green Freight Corridor-2” from Cochin Port to Beypore and Azhikkhal Ports.
Green Freight Corridor Service is operated by Round The Coast Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, a JM Baxi Group Company. This service will connect Kochi-Beypore-Azhikkal, and later Kollam port will be added to this service. M/s JM Baxi is the general agent for the service.
The vessel will call at Cochin Port twice a week and will feeder exim and coastal boxes to the ports of Beypore and Azhikkal.
The commodities that would be shipped would include Rice, Wheat, Salt, Construction Material, Cement, etc. unloaded at Cochin from Gujarat. On the return leg, the Operators are targetting to move exim cargo such as Plywood, Footwear, Textiles, Coffee, etc. Similarly the imported Cashew containers would also be moved from Cochin to Kollam at a later stage.
In order to promote coastal shipping of containers, Cochin Port is offering 50% rebate in vessel related charges for the River Sea vessels. Similarly, the Government of Kerala has also offered an operational incentive @10% above the road transportation cost as per the NATPC study report for coastal shipping in the minor ports in the state for a period of one year from 23.01.2021. These hand-holding measures would help the sustenance of the service during the initial period and would encourage introduction of more services of this kind on regular basis.
This service is expected to bring about a marked modal shift of transportation of containers and ease the congestion on the road and reduce carbon footprint. This also augurs well to connect the hinterlands of northern Kerala, particularly the exim trade in Calicut and Kannur region who will gain direct access to Vallarpadam ICTT by sea mode saving cost and transit time.