COASTAL SHIPPING

Coastal shipping

Coastal shipping has emerged as a key sector and plays a crucial role in integrating the hinterlands (through minor ports) with major ports. Needless to say that without such integration, the full potential of India’s advantageous position in water transportation cannot be realised.

The immediate hinterland for the Coastal trade comprises 40 districts of five states on the west and four on the East Coast and Puducherry. The hinterland covers an area of over 3,80,000 sq. km. Some of the hinterland districts possess rich silica and minerals like bauxite iron-ore, manganese-ore and limestone. It makes these districts ideally suited for the development of extractive industries or for export of these minerals. With growth of such industries and/or export, there is a tremendous potential for the growth of coastal trade in a big way in the long-term.

The significant advantages of coastal shipping are efficiency, cost effectiveness to the industry and government, reduction in road traffic congestion, relative safety from theft and damage and environment friendliness.

Coastal shipping is ideal for transportation of Containers, Project Cargoes, Over Dimensional Cargoes, RORO cargoes such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars, Dry Bulk Cargoes like grain, fertilizers, steel, coal, salt, stone, scrap and minerals and Liquid Bulk Cargoes like oil products (such as petrol, diesel oil, kerosene, aviation spirit.

To further promote coastal shipping in the country, there is need to introduce policy reforms, including mixing of EXIM and coastal cargo along with the development of appropriate support infrastructure for cargo handling, dedicated berths for coastal vessels, priority berthing when carrying perishable goods, increased bunkering options, processes and infrastructure to encourage multimodal handling, suitable aggregation services, and long-term contracts for coastal carriage from public and private sector players to achieve higher traffic and cargo throughputs.

Coastal Shipping