The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata (SMPK) will soon perform market interventions and host seminars to inform traders of the benefits of shipping cargo by sea to and from the country’s northeast.
Industry sources claim that the change will cut travel costs by about one-fifth and travel time by almost half. According to a report by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the closeness of seaports will increase the north-eastern states’ ability to compete internationally. In October 2018, a contract was negotiated allowing transit cargo from India to be used at the Chattogram and Mongla ports in Bangladesh. The road distance from Chattogram port to Agartala via the Akhaura river is approximately 250 km, but the road distance from Kolkata port to Agartala is approximately 1,500 km.
The necessary trial runs to guarantee efficient goods transportation have been carried out, according to PL Haranadh, Chairman of SMP Kolkata, and operational viability has been established. Right away, commercial transportation of commodities can begin. “Prior to now, the North-East was accessible via the train and road networks. We are currently using ports to transport people to the northeastern states. In order to inform participants that this option is now accessible, we will conduct market interventions and workshops “said he.
By December 2022, SMP Kolkata hopes to have finished the trial runs for cargo shipment through the Chattogram and Mongla Ports. An important stage in the Act East strategy is the use of these two ports in Bangladesh for the transportation of goods to and from the north-eastern region. Transit and transhipment through Bangladesh are significant for India in particular since they are anticipated to strengthen the north-eastern region’s economy.
Two segments made up the four trial runs. According to him, Maersk Line handled the shipping from Mongla to Tamabil, Mongia to Bibirbazar, and Chittagong to Sheola and Tamabil with CJ Darci Logistics Ltd as a partner.
Indian cargo that was travelling from West Bengal to Tripura, Assam, and Meghalaya via Chattogram and Mongla Port was safely delivered, according to Haranadh. He stated the return journey from Tamabil to Chittagong is finishing up much earlier than expected.