To construct 10 more such ships over the next three years

The Kochi based LOTS Shipping Ltd has launched its first river sea container vessel, marking an entry into coastal shipping in the country.

The indigenously built IRS class Type IV River Sea Vessel – M V Beypore Sultan – is capable of carrying 81 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The company intends to deploy it from mid-December to carry cargo from Kochi – Mangalore and other minor ports in Kerala.

The Rs 12-crore vessel has been constructed by Master Shipyard Pvt Ltd, an associate company of LOTS Shipping, at Edakochi, one of the oldest localities in south Kochi.

According to Philip Mathews, Managing Director, LOTS Shipping, the river sea vessel can carry containers from Mangalore to Kochi at a cost less than what is now being incurred by exporters and importers.

The vessel will be put to use for moving boxes between various ports on the west coast and the Vallarpadam container transhipment terminal, he added.

Inland water transporter

LOTS Shipping, one of India’s premier inland water transport companies, will be constructing 10 coastal river sea vessels over the next three years to meet the expected demand in coastal shipping, he said.

These ships can operate only in Indian waters and about 12 miles from the coast. There are also plans to start services from Tuticorin to Mangalore after another vessel is constructed, he added.

Renjit Nelluvelil, CEO, LOTS Shipping said that deployment of river sea vessels would help the business community get better connectivity to the Vallarpadam terminal, thereby reducing cost and increasing competitiveness.

These vessels will help act as a feeder for the ICTT as well as to carry import containers to inland and upcountry destinations. The deployment of the vessel will be a boon to the Exim trade from minor ports such as Beypore, Azhikkal, Thangaserry and Vizhinjam, to major ports such as Mangalore and Tuticorin, he said.

sajeevkumar.v@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 2, 2012)
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