KPCT earmarks the maiden voyage
A standard operating procedure was signed between India and Bangladesh to move commercial cargo between the two countries.
The first direct container vessel set sail from Krishnapatnam Port on March 28, 2016, as a part of coastal shipping agreement to facilitate trade between India and Bangladesh. MV Harbour-1 owned by Neepa Paribahan and built by Western Marine Shipyard is the first Bangladesh container vessel to have received the permission from the shipping departments of both the countries.
Commenting on the development, Chinta Sasidhar, Managing Director, Krishnapatnam Port said “This agreement, signed in November 2015, is historic not just for Krishnapatnam but for the entire nation as this would pave way for enhanced bilateral trade ties between the two closest neighbours of the subcontinent. Besides an improved connectivity the service will play a vital role in decongesting the border points and bringing down the cost and transit time involved, thereby providing the best competitive freight rates to the advantage of the industry.”
To facilitate easy bilateral trade, many conditions have been waived by both countries. The vessels of both the countries upon entry in to India and Bangladesh shall be treated as domestic vessels and not foreign going vessels. The provision will play a key role in addressing the traffic congestion at Petrapole (India) and Benapole (Bangladesh) the two border points which pose as one of the biggest impediments to the movement of EXIM cargo.
This will also help to reduce the paper work required at the customs check points, port dues paid at Indian ports too will be at par with Indian vessels. The vessel and cargo will also enjoy complete Protection and Indemnity (P&I) coverage insuring cargo from the point of loading to the final destination and till the time the parcel reaches the final consignee. Both the countries agree to reduce customs documentation and other requirements to the essential minimum for the purpose of easier cargo movement and to have custom stations at or near the points of entry and exit in each country.
“Earlier the shipments from Indian ports being transported to Bangladesh were routed either via Colombo or Singapore. With the launch of the direct service, time taken for such shipments would come down from two to five days,” said Anil Yendluri, Director and CEO, Krishnapatnam Port.
The opening of this route will also enable the movement of cargo to the Northeastern states of India through coastal shipping up to Chittagong and thereafter by road or inland waterways. Secondly, the deep draft ports on the eastern coast of India can be ‘hub ports’ for the onward transportation of cargo to Bangladesh through River Sea Vessels (RSV).
The SOP stipulates that only two categories of vessels – RSVIV and RSV-III can ply between the ports. While category IV of the river-sea vessels can sail during all weather conditions and during the night, class III vessels are navigable in fair weather. These vessels can still through a depth of 3.76 meters and can carry 176 TEUs of cargo at a go. Almost 92 per cent of the country’s export import trade draw cargo from western, central and southern India headed to Bangladesh. A lot of cargo can get diverted from road to sea through this initiative and exporters can benefit from rate and transit advantage. A lot of yarn from Ludhiana in Punjab can directly go to Krishnapatnam instead of going to Mundra.
Exporters and importers from Bengaluru trading with Bangladesh can utilise and benefit by weekly train service from ICD Bengaluru to KPCT