The Cochin Port Trust has decided to extend hours of operation of the Ro- Ro Ferry service connecting Willingdon Island to the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam. There will also be a reduction in tariff with effect from June 1. ‘’The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting convened by the Cochin Port Trust in response to the request of the Container Carrier Owners Association (CCO A), to make up for heavy delays experienced on the city roads which often result in the carriers missing the sailing schedules’’, said Cochin Port traffic manager C Unnikrishnan Nair. “LOTS Shipping, which operates the service, has agreed to conduct the service from 3 AM to 10 PM. “The Ro-Ro Ferry can accommodate 20 TEUs in one trip and has a transit capacity of 480 TEUs per day”, he added. He also said the company has agreed to reduce the tariff per transit to Rs 600/- for a 20 feet truck and Rs 950/- for a 40 feet truck respectively. “The rates would come down by another Rs 100/- during non-peak hours (10 PM to 3 AM). Container Carrier Owners Association had pointed out that various road traffic restrictions implemented in the city recently had adversely affected movement of the container trucks. They also anticipate further restrictions as construction of Metro Rail project gains momentum. Optimum utilisation of the Ro-Ro ferry is expected to ease the traffic on city roads substantially and provide more reliable last mile connectivity to ICTT. It has been calculated that the ferry charges would be less than the cost of additional consumption of diesel for the 35 km transit through the city. The Company has promised to maintain a per-advertised schedule to facilitate planned and reliable movement for the container trucks.