KOLLAM: The port authorities here have arranged a trial run of a cargo ship as part of its plan to start operating inland cargo service through Kollam port.
The ship is arriving here from Kochi on Wednesday. Pre-launch operations including survey will start with the arrival of the ship on Wednesday, the authorities said. The operations will be limited to one cargo ship in the beginning. The cargo coming to Kochi port will be transported to Kollam on feeder vessels. The cargo so arrived will then be carried to warehouses and units based at Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta, according to the authorities.
Necessary talks with private shipping companies have been completed, they said. The port here was set up in 2007, but the delay in starting operations from here has opened ways for container lorry operators to prime their pump and make money.
This happened in spite of the port being one among the 20 in the country with natural docking facilities, which would have made transshipment much easier, said reports.
The port has, however, been in the eye of the storm as transshipment of large quantities of raw cashew from Tuticorin port had constantly been tarried.Tuticorin now handles 60 per cent of the 7.5 lakh tonnes of cashew imported each time.
However, despite port authority’s explanation that delay in transshipment has been due to the lag in installing new cranes, it had largely impacted the overall growth of the cashew industry here. The plan to start a container service from Mundra port in Gujarat to Kollam has also not taken off as planned.It was originally planned to start in December, according to reports. The Gujarat-Kollam service would have benefited in a much larger way as it would call on Kollam directly without any stop-over in just five days, the reports said. The port authorities here, however, expressed their wishes to develop Kollam into a mother port. The move towards it will be faster after the trial run set to take place on Wednesday, they said.