• Centre to utilise waterways to transport logistics: Nitin Gadkari

    Looking to bring down the cost of logistics, government would utilise waterways in the country to transport goods including fertiliser, cement and steel, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today.

    Gadkari said this hailing the arrival of car carrier ship MV Dresdan with 500 cars at Coachin Port.

    This is a successful experiment and effective utilisation of this (waterways) system will help increase water transport in the country, Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways said here.

    “We want to diversify road traffic to water transport,” he said adding goods transportation through water costs barely 20 paise per km in comparison to Rs 1.5 a km through road and Re 1 per km through railways.

    The logistics cost in India is 18 per cent, which is higher than China (8-10 per cent), Japan (10-12 per cent) and European Union (8-12 per cent), he noted.

    “Now this can be a very successful experiment by which we can take cargo including fertiliser, cement and steel on the water,” he told reporters.

    Recalling the recent transportation of Maruti cars from Varanasi to Assam through waterways, the Minister said per car, the cost could be reduced by Rs 3,000 to 4,000 as the transportation expense was very less.

    The car carrier ship, arrived here, is of Cyprus registration, which has obtained licence for coastal run between the ports in India.

    It has the circuit of Ennore-Cochin-Kandla-Cochin-Ennore, connecting the automobile production hubs in Tamil Nadu in the East coast and Gujarat and Haryana in the West coast of India.

    The ship has 13 decks with the capacity to carry 4,300 cars.

    The operator of the Car Carrier is SICAL Logistics based in Chennai, which is a leading player in bulk operations in many ports and operates a Coal Terminal at Ennore.

    The Car Carriers, which are Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) ships, are highly productive with automobiles being driven in and out of the ship.

    The operator carried the vehicles of Renault, Ford, Hyundai and Toyota from Tamil Nadu and Honda and Ford from Gujarat.

    Cochin Port has identified the Q7 berth at Ernakulam Wharf for handling the ship, and a clean yard of 4,000 Sq m area at Q7 is allotted for storage of cars until delivery to the dealers, which is normally expected in a week’s time.

    Kerala is a major consumption centre of cars with annual sales of about 1,50,000 to 1,80,000 units, which is highly significant in determining logistic patterns. Brock Coyle Jersey

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