Railways' container services unit Concor enters costal shipping

Container Corporation of India Ltd (Concor), a public sector unit of Indian Railways, has commenced coastal shipping operations, with first service from Kandla Port to Tuticorin Port. 

Union minister for railways Piyush Goyal and minister for shipping Nitin Gadkari flagged off Concor’s maiden voyage vessel- SSL Mumbai from Kandla Port through video link from Transport Bhawan, New Delhi, on Thursday.
The vessel will dock at Mangalore and Cochin ports on its way to Tuticorin Port, offering a unique multi-modal logistics solution through integrated rail and coastal movement. Concor will start coastal movement of containers as a weekly service on this route, moving about 1400 containers. 
Nitin Gadkari appreciated the modal shift in the logistics chain and said, “It’s a red flag day in the history of transportation in India.”  
The combination of Railways and coastal shipping is a win-win situation for both modes as this will release capacity for railways to carry others goods and facilitate more commodities like steel, cement, and other general cargo to be transported through coastal trade, thereby enhancing the coastal trade basket, he said.
“I urge all Concor and other cargo transporters to utilise waterways and coastal shipping to enhance business coefficient as this is a much cheaper mode of transportation”, the minister added. He also outlined his vision of reviving waterways in the country.                     
Speaking on the occasion, Piyush Goyal congratulated Concor and the ministry of shipping for this joint venture. Ne said the new service by Concor will also be very profitable for the freight movement to send goods to different locations in a cost effective manner and will also reduce the load on railways and road. 
Concor plans to initially deploy two dedicated vessels, each capable of carrying minimum of 700 containers. In addition to first and last mile connectivity, Concor will also arrange port handling and coastal transportation of loaded/empty containers and bulk/break-bulk cargo between Kandla port to Tuticorin port via Mangalore port and Cochin port. This will provide seamless solution to customers from origin to destination. There will be weekly services from Kandla port to Tuticorin port via Mangalore port and Cochin port. This is part of Concor’s overall strategy of expansion and entry into new areas of business that would complement its position as a multimodal logistics service provider.