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i-maritime News Service

Great Sea Shipping deploys container vessel for coastal transportation - 2013-05-02

Taking advantage of River Sea Rules to boost coastal shipping, one more Kerala-based shipping company has launched a river sea container vessel for cargo transportation. The vessel — Great Sea Vembanad — owned by Great Sea Shipping Pvt Ltd, was deployed in the waters by K.M. Chandrasekahar, Vice-Chairman, State Planning Board, at Century Shipyard, Panavally. N.J. Thomas, Managing Director and CEO, Great Sea Shipping Pvt Ltd, told Business Line that the vessel, with a capacity to carry 51 TEU, was designed for coastal transportation between minor ports in the State. Built at a cost of Rs 11 crore, the ship requires a draft of just 2.5 metre and can be easily manoeuvred in the ports.

The company plans to start a fixed port-to-port service from Kochi to Kollam shortly. It is in discussions with the cashew trade for moving containers using the river sea vessel. It plans to have sailings on alternate days between Kochi and Kollam, he said. Shifting the trade to coastal transportation is expected to bring down overall logistics cost by 25-30 per cent once. Coastal cargo movement from the Malabar region to Kochi would also become possible once the essential infrastructure facilities are put in place in minor ports in Kannur and Kozhikode, he added. Specifically designed for coastal transportation, he said river sea ships can ply seamlessly from the sea into inland waterways and vice-versa. Kerala, with a coastline of 590 km and 205 km of waterways (NW:3), is ideally suited for the operation of river sea vessels, especially with the presence of a major port and 17 intermediary and minor ports, he added.

Source : Hindu Business Line