KOCHI: Cochin Port’s bid to promote coastal shipping has started to yield results. The other day, a consignment of 4,732 tonnes of rice from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) arrived in 182 containers at the International Container Transshipment Terminal at Vallarpadam here.
The consignment of rice – which is for public distribution in Kerala – arrived at the Vallarpadam terminal in a container ship ‘SSL Kochi’ from Kakinada Port via Krishnapatnam (both in Andhra Pradesh), said a statement from Cochin Port.
Cochin Port chairperson M Beena IAS thanked FCI and the carrier Avana Logistek Ltd for making it happen. “Efforts are on to bring wheat on the FCI account from Punjab/Haryana to Kerala using coastal shipping, which, besides giving additional volume to the port, will be cost effective for FCI,” she said.
Until recently, FCI brought the rice to Kerala mostly via trains. This is a modal shift to coastal shipping as it proved cost-effective for FCI. It is expected 10,000 tonnes of rice will be brought every month from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala in the days to come.
The marketing team under the Traffic Department of Cochin Port has been promoting coastal shipping via Sagarmala, the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping aimed at promoting coastal shipping by harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and ports.