Coastal container vessel transports goods from Kochi to Beypore

The arrival of Chowgule-8, a coastal container vessel carrying transshipment containers at the Beypore port in the first week of July, has given a fillip to coastal shipping in the State.

The service, operated by Round the Coast Private Limited, resumes short sea container shipping services connecting Vallaraparam International Container Transshipment Terminal, Beypore, and Azhikkal ports on the Malabar coast. Forty containers were delivered at the port by the service flagged off from Kochi terminal. It carried tiles, textile items, sanitary wares and plywood. The resumption of the container service comes after a gap of more than two-and-a-half years and was reintroduced after persistent demand from exporters and trade and business community as they felt the movement of containers on road was costly and took too much time.

The Kerala Exporters’ Forum will hold a discussion on the prospects of coastal shipping in the background of the “Green Freight Corridor Short Sea Shipping”, which links minor ports in the State with the Vallarpadam international terminal on August 6. State Port Secretary Tinku Biswal, CEO of Cochin Port Trust M. Beena, and CEO of the Maritime Board, Salim Kumar, are among those expected to participate in the dicussions.

The Exporters’ Forum sources said that around 10,000 containers were headed for the Malabar area from States like Gujarat while wheat and other grains were transported to Mundra port and then shipped to Kerala ports. The forum feels that the working of the minor ports in the State should be upgraded and the cost of labour reduced to increase the movement of coastal cargo.

In a recent memorandum to State Ports Minister Ahammed Devarkovil, the forum said that Beypore could develop into a satellite port for Kochi and that work on dredging the Beypore and Azheekkal ports for obtaining eight metre of draft should be carried out and work on extension of the wharf completed at the earliest.

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