Kerala to get a Coastal shipping route soon

The meandering waterways in the form of lakes, backwaters and rivers in  Kerala puts it in the league of countries like the Netherlands, Denmark and Greece, where coastal shipping plays an important role in easing the traffic bottlenecks. With the proposed coastal shipping route that will be completed  in 2012, Kerala will be making the best use of its long coast line like these European countries. In the initial stage, this channel will be used to ferry containers from Vallarpadam Container Transshipment Terminal, which will take off a substantial part of heavy traffic from the roads  leading to Kochi.

Various shipping companies and industrial representatives have evinced keen interest in this project, which will be of immense benefit to the cashew industry in Kollam, the rubber units in Kottayam and Pathanamthitta and especially the construction industry. Coastal shipping has become the need of the hour as road transport network has proved insufficient in handling the smooth  slow of traffic considering the exponential growth in the goods movement in recent times.

The Great Sea Shipping Pvt Ltd based in Cochin has confirmed its plans to launch river-sea vessels on both fixed schedules and charter basis to ensure container transportation services. The company plans to start its operations with two vessels each with a cargo capacity of 52 containers connecting Kollam port and Vallarpadam terminal, by April 2012.

The coastal shipping route will infuse a fresh lease of life to the limping cashew and coir industry. It is estimated that over  10,000 containers of cashew kernels are transported from  Kollam for exports  and around 35,000 containers of imported raw cashew is brought back to Kollam  by road and the exporters have to shell out an exorbitant sum on transportation charges. However , once the coastal route gets ready, the transportation charges can be brought down by over  40 per cent of what it currently costs by road. In the second phase of the project, the non-coastal pockets will be integrated with the minor and major ports in the state, that would make a comprehensive network of  inland waterways, rivers and backwater routes, which will be of tremendous use for the  rubber industry mainly centred around Kottayam and Pathanamthitta areas.

Sholto Ramsay

Boss, motivator and general eccentric with a deep love of Kerala and India who just wants everyone to enjoy an amazing and life enhancing experience of Kerala.

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