With the development of coastal shipping in India, soon a car manufactured at a Sriperumbudur plant near Chennai would be able to reach Mithapur in Gujarat within five days. While the companies can move 50 truckload of cargo in one ship, the water transportation method would also bring down manufacturing cost of the product, fuel expense and reduce carbon footprint.
On July 18, Chennai-based Indev Group Chairman Xavier Britto said that his 30-year-old logistics company is planning to enter coastal shipping in a big way. The company has already ordered for two second-hand ships and is planning to finance the project by floating an IPO. We are planning to have four ships, all Indian flagged vessels, so that we can operate them for coastal shipping, Britto added.
According to him, two ships would ply from the west coast to the east coast, while the other two would travel in the reverse direction. We are looking at smaller ports en route namely in Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal to load and unload cargo, he said, adding that his company would also try to establish its own terminals in smaller ports, as its partner Kerry Logistics has expertise in running ports.
PT Balaji, Chief Operating Officer at Indev Logistics said that transporting cargo through sea would save oil consumption and reduce cost of the product. We would be buying multi utility ships so that we can handle containarised cargo, vehicles like cars and buses as well as general cargo. Our initial investment would be around US$ 100 million to acquire the ships and register them in India, he added.
N Ramani, who recently retired as regional head (Chennai), Shipping Corporation of India said the success of coastal shipping depends on how much quantity of cargo, that is currently passes through trucks and rail, moves to sea route. At present, Poompuhar Shipping Corporation and Allcargo Global Logistics are active in coastal shipping in India.