New Delhi, Jul 13 (PTI) The first containerised cargo export from India to Bangladesh using inland waterways has reached Dhaka carrying 45 TEUs of sponge iron, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) said on Monday.
Adani Logistics Limited, an arm of APSEZ in association with Five Star Logistics Private Limited shipped the consignment.
'A first ever containerized cargo export from India to Bangladesh using Inland Waterways has reached its destination Pangaon International Container Terminal, Dhaka, on 12th July, 2020. The barge 'MV Pruthvi' carrying 45 TEUs (about 1,250 MT) of sponge iron was flagged off on 30th June 2020 from Haldia Docks for its maiden voyage from Haldia to Dhaka on Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR),' APSEZ said in a statement.
The barge sailed on July 5, 2020, from Haldia and completed its voyage in seven days, the statement said adding Adani Logistics Limited in association with Five Star Logistics Private Limited shipped the consignment of Rashmi Cement Ltd and Orissa Metaliks Pvt. Ltd.
The India-Bangladesh Protocol on Inland Water Trade and Transit (PIWTT) was signed in 1972 to allow free movement of goods between India and Bangladesh through specified routes linking domestic cargo movement between West Bengal, Assam and Tripura via Bangladesh as well as EXIM cargo movement from India to Bangladesh.
The Centre has has taken initiative for development of Inland Waterways in India and the success of landmark container export cargo consignment has provided importers and exporters of India and Bangladesh an alternative to roadways and railways.
Currently, majority of the exports and imports through West Bengal region to Bangladesh is taking place through Petrapole (India) and Benapole (Bangladesh), the statement said adding, Petrapole is one of the largest Land Customs Station (LCS) in Asia handling a trade of more than USD 2.5 billion.
'The success of containerised movement from Haldia to Guwahati on NW2 (using IBPR) has generated keen interest with the importers/ exporters of both India and Bangladesh to extend its usage for EXIM cargo movement. One vessel movement is equivalent to 64 or more trucks. ..Containerized movement of sponge iron is a safer alternative as compared to carrying the cargo in bulk/break bulk,” said Anil Kishore Singh, CEO – Inland Waterways of Adani Logistics.
Pre-COVID-19 lockdown, the ICP at Petrapole used to handle about 500-550 trucks from India and about 100-150 trucks from Bangladesh every day, the statement said.
Since past few years, exporters/ importers of both the nations are looking for alternative transportation options to avoid congestion, delays and multiple handling of cargo at Petrapole ICP (which shoots up the cost), it added.
Bulk commodities such as Fly Ash, Stone Aggregates, and Project Cargo etc are already being moved from India to Bangladesh using inland waterways, it said and added containerized cargo movement is an essential addition for making inland waterways an eligible candidate for high value goods too.
Riva Ganguly Das, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh welcomed the movement of first containerized cargo export from India to Bangladesh using Inland waterways.
“India and Bangladesh had recently signed the 2nd Addendum to Protocol on Inland Water Trade and Transit on 20th May 2020 which included two new routes, five new Ports of Call and two extended Ports of Call.... Connectivity provided by the existing and the newly added protocol routes provides excellent opportunity for expansion of our bilateral trade besides which, in the present Covid-19 scenario it provides economical, faster and safer mode of transport,” Das was quoted as saying in the statement.
APSEZ, a part of globally diversified Adani Group, is the largest integrated logistics player in India. PTI NAM MR