Relaxation of the cabotage law has helped increase transshipment from Indian ports, and by the end of the year, 10% of Indian cargo transshipped abroad would be pulled back to Indian ports, shipping secretary Gopal Krishna said on Friday. He said the recent policy changes in the shipping sector would help create new entrepreneurs in the coastal and inland shipping sector as the opportunity is huge. The shipping ministry on May 21 lifted restrictions on foreign-registered vessels to transport containers between Indian ports.
Earlier, as per the cabotage law, only ships registered in India were allowed to ply on local routes and foreign ships could operate along the coast only when Indian ships were not available. The policy changes are expected to increase the domestic shipping capacity and bring down cost of coastal transportation. “In the last two-and-a-half months, we have seen substantial number of empty and laden containers transshipped in Indian ports.
In June and July, 3,000 and 5,500 containers, respectively, were transshipped in Indian ports. By the end of the year, 10% of the cargo transshipped abroad will be pulled back,” Krishna said at the sixth edition of the Coastal Shipping and Inland Water Transport Business Conclave 2018 here. He said 4 billion tonne of cargo is transported annually in India through all the modes and the disturbing fact is that transportation through water has been very poor.