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Coastal container feeder service to be launched between Chennai and Puducherry
Dr.G.R.Balakrishnan Feb 27 2023 Shipping News

Coastal container feeder service to be launched between Chennai and Puducherry

To be operated by the Chennai-based Global Logistics, the 12-hour ferry service is expected to help the trade avoid the congested road traffic and take delivery of boxes through Direct Port Delivery (DPD) and Direct Port Entry (DPE) than using storage spaces like Container Freight Stations (CFS) and Inland Container Depots (ICD).

The Chennai Port Authority (CPA) and Puducherry port signed a memorandum of understanding in 2017 for the diversion of cargo to the latter and sharing of revenue.

Sunil Paliwal, Chairman, CPA, will flag off the operations offered by Global Logistics from DP World Container Terminal inside the Chennai port on Monday morning.

The overall freight cost could be reduced by 25 per cent by moving through sea as against the road movement (160 km), said an industry official.

The service will help the trade in the hinterland of Puducherry as DPD and DPE-cleared containers can be moved easily since no clearance is required in the Puducherry port, said S Narasimhan, Managing Director, Sattva ICD at Puducherry. The Government of Puducherry should make sure that the city does not become congested, he added.

AV Vijayakumar, Managing Director and CEO, Paramount Shipping Service Pvt Ltd, says that it is an innovative concept of the business model but will take time for the industry to shift its existing comfort zone where the box is picked up and delivered at their doorstep.

Unless cost-effectiveness is established, this could not be a lucrative model, and feeders will drop boxes at ports and there is a last leg connectivity to the importer/exporter at an additional cost and time. Looking at the larger picture, this will reduce density on the roads, fewer carbon footprints, and be more eco-friendly. DPD/DPE could be a potential business, which can be easily grabbed if there is an aggressive strategy.

The sailing time between the ports could be half a day.

Two advantages can be expected – cost savings and Greenhouse Gas emission reduction – as it is proven that water transportation emits less CO2 than the road and also ease out the congestion on the road.