To attract manufacturers and transporters to the coastal shipping mode of transport from road and rail movement of their goods, the Union Ministry of Shipping is planning to offer them certain incentives. Currently, in India, over 60 per cent of the domestic cargo is moved by road and 30 per cent by rail, with coastal shipping accounting for only about 8 per cent.
To change this and divert the cargo to coastal shipping, the government may come out with a policy within a few months. The National Shipping Board (NSB) is said to be already working on routes to develop coastal shipping infrastructure to ensure that its full potential is tapped by customers.
The main advantage of shifting domestic cargo movement from road and rail to shipping would be reduced outlay, to the tune of 21 per cent compared to road and 40 per cent vis-à-vis rail.