MANGALURU: New Mangalore Port Trust is planning to promote the movement of cars in containers to boost its coastal shipping business. Currently, the port handles the coastal shipping to the tune of 7 million metric tonnes per annum and it plans to scale it to 10 million metric tonnes.
Port Trust Chairman A V Ramana said NMPT, to promote coastal shipping, has increased the free time on cargo from 7 to 15 days and priority berthing is provided to coastal shipping vessels. The port is also in strategic dialogue with CONCOR (Container Corporation of India) which has entered into the business after Railways. “It is a good thing that they have entered into coastal shipping,” Ramana said.
Another potential area for the port to enter into is moving of cars through containers. There are many car companies in Tamil Nadu in the east coast of the country. Car traders in the state depend upon trucks for transporting cars which could be carried out in coastal shipping. The containers that return empty can be utilised to bring cars from the east coast, which will turn out cheaper for the traders, he opined. “Instead of carrying empty containers, the vessels can bring cars - say two cars in a container - which is cheaper for vessel operators as well as car traders,” he pointed out. The port trust will have a trade meeting with the stakeholders in future to probe the possibilities, he said. The coastal shipping route is from Gujarat - Maharashtra - Goa - Karnataka and Kerala in the west coast and towards Tamil Nadu in the east coast.
The main cargo coming to NMPT is tiles and wheat.