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The Ports Department of Kerala government chartered a vessel from the Waterways Shipyard, Goa with a capacity of 154 TEU containers and a built-in crane facility.
The vessel would be operated by the Kerala State Maritime Development Corporation (KSMDCL) to ferry cargo between Kollam Port and the International Container Transhipment Terminal at Vallarpadam through coastal shipping.
The port has reportedly received interest from many cargo owners to transport their cargo through coastal shipping. But no deals had been signed with any of the the cargo owners yet, reports indicate.
The port expects to ferry cargoes like cashew (for exports), and cargoes from public sector undertakings such as the Kerala Minerals and Metals and the Indian Rare Earths.
Meanwhile, the port would launch a campaign to fetch enough cargo for coastal shipping. The Ports Department will launch a campaign to attract cargo ahead of the launch of the coastal shipping operations between Kollam and the International Container Transhipment Terminal.
Kollam Port is expected to begin container operations from June. Though at least three private shipping firms came up with proposals to launch of the coastal shipping operations, the project lagged behind. Following this, the Ports Department decided to launch operations though the state-owned KSMDCL.