Indo-Bangladesh coastal shipping now operational

Prothom Alo English | Update:

The first Bangladesh-flagged vessel, under a bilateral coastal shipping agreement with India, completed its voyage when it reached Chittagong Port on 1 January.

According to The Hindu BusinessLine, MV Shamayel called at Paradip Port in Orissa, India on 29 December 2016, carrying 149 empty containers and sailed back with 91 containers loaded with sponge iron.

Seaways Shipping And Logistics Ltd had reportedly handled the first vessel.

The scope of work undertaken by Seaways include inland haulage from ex-works, arranging for the vessel, stevedoring, vessel agency and last mile delivery from Chittagong Port to destination, BusinessLine report said quoting the company's news release issued in Hyderabad on Monday.

Traditionally, it said, container cargo from India was shipped to Bangladeshi ports via Singapore or Colombo hub ports, a practice that not only increased shipping time but also burdened the shippers with additional costs.

Under the Coastal Shipping Treaty, both Indian and Bangladesh governments will treat each other’s vessel as their own national vessels and allow for direct cargo movement between each other’s portsm, the report said.

Now, it pointed out, the transit time has reduced by more than two weeks and shippers will save on the additional charges that were being charged by the hub ports.

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