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Concor to resume coastal shipping in a month

Mumbai: HD Gujrati, group general manager of international marketing at the state-owned Container Corporation of India has revealed plans to resume coastal shipping services as part of its strategy to widen its reach as a logistics service provide, writes Live Mint. "Short-sea shipping (coastal shipping) is the future," said Gujrati. "We intend to start regular shipping services on coastal routes within a month."

Although Concor had offered coastal shipping a few years ago, the services were discontinued due to operational and regulatory reasons. This time around, the company is clear about its strategy. "Initially, we will buy slots (space on board a ship occupied by a container) in the coastal ships of firms specializing in this sector. Subsequently, we may hire full ships or even buy ships in partnership with an experienced firm," Gujrati said.

Coastal shipping is said to be a cheaper alternative to carrying cargo by road or rail. But, despite a 7,517km coastline dotted with 12 major ports and more than 200 smaller ones, India's coastal shipping has not developed to the level prevailing in other parts of the globe.
Coastal shipping accounts for more than 40% of the trade volumes in the US, China and Europe, but in India, it makes for just 7% of the total domestic cargo transport, according to consultancy firm Ernst and Young.

Concor is negotiating with several firms for a joint venture, but Gujrati declined to give details.  [17/04/08]

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