Coastal Shipping Would Have Numerous Beneficiaries
BMI believes that a potential new deal between India and Bangladesh, whereby volumes will be transhipped from Bangladeshi ports to India utilising Bangladeshi vessels, provides significant upside potential for volumes at the country's ports. The deal would also make it easier to transport goods between the 'seven sister' states of India and the rest of the country.
At a recent two-day shipping secretary-level discussion held between India and Bangladesh, a plan was discussed that would see volumes transhipped from the premier Bangladeshi facilities of Chittagong and Mongla on to Indian ports. Bangladeshi shipping secretary Abdul Mannan Hawlader said: 'The cost will be very high if we carry goods from India by truck. But if we carry goods through the sea, the cost as well as travel time will be significantly reduced. Both countries can be benefited if coastal shipping is introduced.'
BMI notes that India has strict cabotage laws that prevent foreign vessels from participating in coastal shipping. However, the domestic shipping fleet lacks sufficient vessels to cope with demand, and the government has come under increasing pressure to relax these laws. In June it was announced that a partial relaxation would be introduced for goods passing through the International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam ( see our online service, June 29, 'Potential Cabotage Relaxation For ICTT'). The deal with Bangladesh is also likely to see more Bangladeshi vessels plying the Indian coastline.
|Upside Potential For Future Throughputs|
|Port of Chittagong Tonnage And TEU Throughput|