Recently, Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the loading operation on the first voyage of Coastal Shipping Service- Green Freight Corridor 2 from Cochin Port to the ports of Beypore and Azhikkhal.
Green Freight Corridor 2: Various steps are being taken to promote coastal trade and to provide sustainable, efficient and cost-effective Intermodal as well as Multimodal customer solutions. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways aims to provide seaborne connectivity to the trade and industries in the hinterland, minimize congestion on the rail and road other than bringing down logistics costs. Recently, Mansukh Mandaviya- the Union Minister of State for Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, inaugurated the loading operation on the first voyage of Coastal Shipping Service- Green Freight Corridor 2 from Cochin Port to the ports of Beypore and Azhikkhal.
According to the ministry, Green Freight Corridor Service is operated by Round The Coast Private Limited, Mumbai, which is a JM Baxi Group company. This service will link Kochi-Beypore-Azhikkal, and Kollam port will be added later to this service. The JM Baxi company is the general agent for the service. Twice a week, the vessel will call at Cochin Port and will feeder exim and coastal boxes to Beypore and Azhikkal ports. The items that would be shipped would include Rice, Salt, Wheat, Cement, Construction Material, etc. unloaded at Cochin from Gujarat. The Operators, on the return leg, are targetting to move exim cargo like Footwear, Coffee, Plywood, Textiles, etc. Similarly, at a later stage, the imported Cashew containers would be moved as well from Cochin to Kollam.
To promote coastal shipping of containers, a 50% rebate is being offered by Cochin Port in vessel-related charges for the River Sea vessels. Similarly, the Kerala government has offered an operational incentive @10% above the road transportation cost as per the study report of NATPC for coastal shipping in the state’s minor ports for one year period from 23 January 2021. During the initial period, these hand-holding measures would help the sustenance of the service. Also, it would encourage the introduction of more services of this type on regular basis.
According to the ministry, it is expected that the service will bring about a marked modal shift of containers transportation as well as ease the congestion on the road and minimize carbon footprint. The service also augurs well to link the hinterlands of north Kerala, particularly the exim trade in the regions of Calicut and Kannur which will gain direct access to Vallarpadam ICTT by the mode of the sea, saving cost and transit time.